He obtained his medical education at Trinity College Dublin and graduated BA 1864, MA 1897, MB in 1864 and MD in 1873. In 1863, he became a Licentiate, and in 1874 a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and also took the Diploma in Public Health. He won prizes in chemistry, practical chemistry, materia medica, anatomy and physiology and first prizes in physical science (Government School of Mines) and geometry (Royal Dublin Society).
Assistant Surgeon John Peter Hamilton Boileau attended the Ninth Session (Winter Session) course of instruction at the Army Medical School at Netley for commission in HM Service. The Winter Session of 1864–65 was attended by 77 candidates. Admission to the Army Medical School was obtained by a public examination at Chelsea and a further competitive exam was held at the close of each session at Netley. The combined results of these two examinations determined the order of precedence in which candidates were gazetted. Boileau was placed 10th in his course with a combined total of 4305 marks; the candidate placed first obtained 5247 marks.
In 1908, he assisted in the formation of the Gloucester Road Conservative Club through a handsome subscription.2
Colonel John Peter Hamilton Boileau died at his residence at Plasnewyd, the Avenue, Trowbridge aged 69 years, of peritonitis after a four day illness. He had been in his usual health in the early part of the week, and on Tuesday drove over to South Wraxall to see his old friend, Mr E Pinckney, with Miss Boileau, reaching home about 5 o'clock. Shortly afterwards, he complained of great pain and Dr Pearce was called in. It was evident that Col Boileau was seriously ill. Dr Lace of Bath was telephoned for, and late in the evening an operation was performed. However, he gradually sank and died just before 5 o'clock on Friday afternoon from peritonitis.
He was survived by his spouse, the daughter of Dr Bond of Dublin. Col Boileau had three daughters, two of whom married service officers, that is Mrs Mosse, wife of Colonel Mosse RAMC, and Mrs Humfrey, wife of Captain Lorne Humfrey 19th (Yorkshire) Regiment. His brother, Colonel L F Boileau Royal Engineers, predeceased him and lies buried at Limpley Stoke.
Service Record — John Peter Hamilton Boileau
30 Sept 1864 Staff Assistant Surgeon.
9 June 1865 Assistant Surgeon
29th (Worcestershire) Regiment of Foot for 12 years.
Dec 1869 To the West Indies with 29th Regiment to relieve
Boileau served with the 29th Foot continuously for more than three years in Jamaica and Barbados. He states that while in the West Indies he "attended altogether but two fatal cases, (mitral valve disease, the sequel of rheumatic fever, and a case of acute haemorrhagic phthisis in a young recruit). We lost not a single man, woman, or child from any endemic or epidemic disease; nor indeed from any zymotic disease whatever, either at Newcastle, Jamaica, or at Barbados, nor did we invalid any, to the best of my recollection.1
1 Mar 1873 Promoted Surgeon. The 29th Foot were relieved by the 98th Foot in the West Indies in Mar 1873.
30 Sept 1876 Promoted Surgeon–Major.
1876–1883 Assistant Professor of Pathology, Army Medical School Netley. Prof Boileau, was succeeded by Surgeon-Major T. R. Lewis as Assistant Professor of Pathology at the Army Medical School Netley.
1881–1883 Member of the Committee of the Council of the British Medical Association.
May 1883 Arrived in India, where he was placed in medical charge of the Allahabad station hospital.
1884 On duty at Allahabad Station Hospital.
13 Aug 1887 On 1 January 1887 War Office Warrant abolished relative rank in the Medical Department of the army. Writing from Ferozepore Punjab, Surgeon–Major Boileau took an opposite stand from the many discontented medical officers of the Army Medical Staff.
"The British Medical Association deserves well of the medical officers of the army for espousing with such promptitude their cause, and prosecuting with such vigour its decision to appeal against the infringement of those rights which seemed to be imperilled by the abolition of relative rank; but the matter is now most satisfactorily settled, and it will be a great mistake for the Association to proceed forwards. I do sincerely hope that no association, college, hospital, or school, will lend its aid to those who are demanding that the medical officers of the army should be called Captains, Colonels, etc. Believe me, Sir, those mischievous agitators are doing a world of harm to the Medical Staff of the Army".
23 Nov 1889 Promoted Brigade–Surgeon, ranking as Lieutenant Colonel, vice Brigade–Surgeon Samuel Archer who was promoted to the vacancy of Deputy Surgeon–General, ranking as Colonel, made vacant by the retirement of Deputy Surgeon–General W. Cattell.
9 Apr 1896 Retired. Employed at Trowbridge as medical officer in charge of troops until 1906. When he retired from the army he continued to reside at Trowbridge.
9 Aug 1898 Lieutenant Colonel antedated to 30 Sept 1884.
1898–1902 Member of the Council of the Irish Medical Schools and Graduates' Association. Fellow of the Royal Statistical Society. He compiled the Statistics of the Army Medical Department.
4 Mar 1910 Died at his residence at Plasnewyd, the Avenue, Trowbridge aged 69 years, of peritonitis after a four day illness.
Entry No: 6163. William Johnston, Roll of Commissioned Offices in the Medical Service of the British Army, 20 June 1727-23 June 1898. (Aberdeen, University Press, 1917).
TNA:WO 25/3901, Statement of the Home and Foreign Service of officers of the Medical Department (1790–1847).
Succession Book Vol 13. Returns of service of medical officers in the Regular Army.
Obituary, Brit Med J (1910), 1; 2569: 786-787 (Published 26 Mar 1910).
2Obituary, J Roy Army Med Corps April 1910, Corps News 86-87.
1Boileau J PH, A few remarks on Yellow Fever, and the movement of troops Brit Med J (1882), 1; 1097: 7 (Published 7 January 1882).
Naval and Military Medical Services Brit Med J (1883), 987 (Published 19 May 1883).
Naval and Military Medical Services Brit Med J (1889), 1422 (Published 21 Dec 1889).
Naval and Military Medical Services Brit Med J (1887), 382 (Published 13 Aug 1887).
Boileau J P H, (1866) Remarks on fevers in Malta with cases. Appendix no XLVII, Army Medical Department Report for the year 1866, Vol VIII; 478: London 1868.