Medical Officers of the Malta Garrison
Cockburn James Balfour

search maltaramc

334 Surgeon Major James Balfour Cockburn MRCS Eng (1851) MD (Ed 1852)
LM (1854) LSAL (1852)

29 Apr 1830 [Guernsey] – 1 June 1907 [St Peter Port Guernsey]


Surgeon Major James Balfour Cockburn was the son of James Cockburn and Mary Louisa Corbin. He obtained the Diploma of Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons on 2 May 1851 and his Diploma in Midwifery on 18 January 1854. He was a Licentiate of the Society of Apothecaries.

Surgeon Major James Balfour Cockburn entered the Army Medical Department as an Assistant Surgeon on 3 March 1854. He served in the Eastern Campaign of 1854 – 1855 and took part in the expedition to Kertch and Yenikali. He was present in the siege of Sebastopol. He received the Crimea Medal with clasp and the Turkish Medal. He published:

  • Case of fracture of the base of the skull with recovery. AMD Report Vol 13 (1871).
  • Case of fracture of the jaw through the neck of the right condyle from a blow on the opposite side of the face. AMD Report Vol 7 (1865).
  • Case of syphilitic alopecia treated with Less' mercurial and vapour bath. Lancet Vol 1 (1867).

Service Record — James Balfour Cockburn

3 Mar 1854 Appointed Staff Assistant Surgeon.

Malta 8 Mar 1854 Arrived from England.

6 Apr 1854 Left for Turkey and the Crimea. Took part in the expedition to Kertch and Yenikali, and in the siege of Sebastopol.
Left Turkey on 3 Aug 1856.

4 Aug 1856 Assistant Surgeon Royal Artillery.

8 Jan 1864 Promoted Surgeon Royal Engineers. Served as a medical officer with the Royal Engineers at Gibraltar, until 20 Oct 1874, when he was placed on half-pay.

1872 Member of the Medico Psychological Association. Had been medical officer in charge of the Lunatic Asylum Fort Pitt Chatham.

3 Mar 1874 Promoted Surgeon Major.

20 Oct 1874 Reduced to half-pay.

6 Oct 1876 Restored to full-pay.

1877 On duty at Shoeburyness Essex.

1878 – 1881 On duty in Madras.

5 Apr 1882 Retired with the rank of Honorary Brigade Surgeon.

9 Apr 1894 Appointed the first Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master for the Masonic Province of Guernsey and Alderney.

1 June 1907 Died at Elm House, Guernsey.


  • Drew R., 1968. Entry No: 5196. Medical Officers in the British Army 1660 – 1960. Volume I: 1660 – 1898. London: Wellcome Historical Medical Library.
  • RAMC/PE/3/27/Drew. Manuscript for Drew's Roll.
  • Succession Books Vol VI, (1 May 1846). Returns of service of medical officers in the Regular Army.
  • Obituary Br Med J (1907) , 1; 2425: 1521 (Published 22 June 1907).