Medical Officers of the Malta Garrison
Fitzgerald Edmund Maurice Downing

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Surgeon Major Edmund Maurice Downing Fitzgerald MD
24 May 1845 [Bandon Co Cork] – 26 Apr 1888 [Ceylon]

Service Record — Edmund Maurice Downing Fitzgerald

1 Oct 1867 Staff Assistant Surgeon.

13 June 1868 Assistant Surgeon 56th (West Essex) Regiment of Foot.

18 May 1870 Assistant Surgeon 18th (The Royal Irish) Regiment of Foot.

1 Mar 1873 Promoted Surgeon.

1 Oct 1879 Promoted Surgeon–Major.

Malta 13 Aug 1882 Arrived from Southampton in the twin screw SS Tower Hill. The idea of a Base Hospital, surgical and medical, at Gozo and Cyprus respectively during the Egyptian Campaign of 1882, was entertained as early as July. Some of the medical staff for the hospital at Gozo left Southampton on 4 August arriving at Malta on 13 August.

Brigade-Surgeon Tippets Alfred Malpas was in charge of the Base Hospital at Gozo. His second in command was Surgeon-Major Fitzgerald Edmund Maurice Downing. By the 23 Aug, the Commissariat Staff under a Sgt with stores and four nursing sisters moved to Fort Chambray Gozo, which was adapted as a hospital. Five medical officers including an apothecary and a subaltern from the Durham Light Infantry commanding a detachment for guard were located in the former Governor's house, which had been unoccupied since the abolition of that appointment. This was adapted as a small mess and officer's quarters.

Mgarr Harbour Gozo served as a landing for small boats and farther out to sea afforded anchorage for the old Indian troopships, two of which put in at different times in Sep with wounded from Egypt. With the collapse of Arabi's army at Tel-el-Kebir only two batches of wounded with less than a 100 men had arrived at Gozo.

The role of the medical staff at Gozo was limited to the care and surgical treatment of the wounded which arrived in Sep 1882. On 10 Nov, the convalescents were discharged and the hospital was demobilised and the medical and nursing sisters and stores dispatched to Egypt to take part in the aftermath of the war at the large base and general hospital near Cairo and Alexandria.

Malta 18 Nov 1882 Left for Egypt. On arrival at Alexandria on 23 Nov, the personnel of the Gozo Hospital were dispersed.

June 1885 The leave to Australia on medical certificate granted to Surgeon E. M. D. Fitzgerald MD was extended to 29 October 1885.

26 Apr 1888 Died in Ceylon, aged 42 years.


  • Entry No: 6386. Johnston W. Roll of Commissioned Offices in the Medical Service of the British Army. Vol 1 (20 June 1727-23 June 1898), Aberdeen (1917).
  • Succession Book Vol 14. Returns of service of medical officers in the Regular Army.
  • Naval and Military Medical Services Br Med J (1885), 1273 (Published 20 June 1885).
  • Naval and Military Medical Services Br Med J (1888), 1139 (Published 26 May 1888).
  • Beamish J M, Notes on the Surgical Base Hospital at Gozo and of the General Hospital at Alexandria 1882-83 J R Army Med Corps (1913), xxi; 3: 361 (Sept 1913).