David Bruce Naval Hospital Mtarfa

Regimental Surgeons of the Malta Garrison
Forbes Charles Fergusson

Assistant Surgeon Charles Fergusson Forbes KCH (1842) MD (Edin 1808) FRCP (Lond 1841)
22 Mar 1779 [Essex] – 1852 [London]

1798 Hospital Mate.

9 Jan 1799 Assistant Surgeon 2nd/1st Royal Regiment of Foot.
Served in Holland.

5 May 1800–22 Mar 1802 Served in Malta, Egypt, and Gibraltar.

22 Dec 1804 Surgeon 1st Royal Regiment of Foot.
Served in the Peninsular War (1808-14).

21 July 1808 Staff Surgeon.

31 Jan 1811 Physician.

18 Feb 1813 Deputy Inspector of Hospitals.

25 Sept 1814 Reduced to half-pay.

1816–1827 Physician to the Westminster Ophthalmic Hospital founded by Deputy Inspector of Hospitals George James Guthrie in 1816. Forbes and Guthrie fell out in 1828 following a publication of an article in the Lancet, for which Guthrie commenced legal proceedings, and Forbes fought a duel on Clapham Common with Surgeon Hale Thomson, one of Guthrie's supporters. Forbes remained in private practice in London attracting his patients from the aristocracy.1


  1. Entry No: 1838. Johnston W. Roll of Commissioned Offices in the Medical Service of the British Army. Vol 1 (20 June 1727-23 June 1898), Aberdeen (1917).
  2. TNA:WO 25/3897, Records of Service - Officers of the Medical Department (1790–1847).
  3. Munk's Roll. Vol III; 129. London: Royal College of Physicians.
  4. 1Ackroyd M, Brockliss L, Moss M, Retford K, Stevenson J. Advancing with the Army. Medicine, the Professions, and Social Mobility in the British Isles, 1790-1850 pp 247–248, (Oxford 2006).