David Bruce Naval Hospital Mtarfa

Regimental Surgeons of the Malta Garrison
Hennen John

Assistant Surgeon John Hennen MD (Edin 1819)
21 Apr 1799 [Castlebar Ireland] – 3 Nov 1828 [Gibraltar]

King's Chapel Gibraltar

The King's Chapel Gibraltar. (Courtesy Dr Jeremy Corson)

King's Chapel Gibraltar

To The Memory of
John Hennen MD FRSE
Inspector of Military Hospitals
And Author of The Principles of Military Surgery
And various other works.
He fell a victim of the Epidemic Fever on
3rd Nov 1828 aged 49 years, and while arduously
Engaged, even to the day preceding his death, in the
Able discharge of the then urgent duties of
Principal Medical Officer
of this garrison.
This tablet
Is erected by his personal friends, not with a view
of perpetuating his name, for that lives in the more imperishable memorials of his own genius, but as a testimony of regard
For a man whose zeal was indefatigable
And who in the day of calamity sacrificed all
consideration of his own safety for the public zeal.
(Courtesy Dr Jeremy Corson)

1798 Assistant Surgeon Shropshire Militia.

24 Mar 1800 Hospital Mate.

4 Apr 1800 Assistant Surgeon 40th (2nd Somersetshire) Regiment of Foot.

Malta 1800 Left for Egypt.

Malta 1801 Returned from Egypt.

15 Oct 1801 Assistant Surgeon 3rd Dragoons.

12 Nov 1803 Surgeon 3rd Division Irish Light Infantry.

18 Dec 1806 Surgeon 7th Garrison Battalion.

31 Dec 1807 Surgeon 30th (Cambridgeshire) Regiment of Foot (by exchange).

24 Oct 1811 Staff Surgeon.
Served in the Peninsular War (1809–1814) accompanied by his son and daughter. Kempthorne states that Hennen "always operated with a cigar in his mouth, a habit which even the Duke of Wellington condoned, for he had a high opinion of him".1

18 June 1815 Served at Waterloo accompanied by his son and daughter.

7 Sept 1815 Appointed Deputy Inspector of Hospitals, for his services at Waterloo.

1818 Published Observations on some important points in the practice of Military Surgery.

1819 MD Edinburgh. His theses written in Latin was on: Dissertatio medica inauguralis de sanitate militum tuenda.

Malta Oct 1821 Principal Medical Officer Malta Garrison.

Malta May 1822 Returned from the Ionian Islands.
Established Convalescent Depots in Malta and Gozo for the army in the Mediterranean.

Aug 1822 The first 132 convalescents arrived from Corfu and landed at Fort Ricasoli where they were first examined by the PMO, before being sent to Gozo.

31 Dec 1822 Martha Hennen, spinster daughter of John Hennen MD of Castlebar, Ireland married Deputy Assistant Commissary General William Condamine, a bachelor of the Island of Guernsey in the presence of Anna Maria Hennen.

Malta 1823 PMO Malta Garrison.

11 Dec 1823 Inspector of Hospitals.

Malta 1824 PMO Malta Garrison.

Malta 17 Jan 1824 Together with Inspector of Hospitals Grieves Robert, and Surgeon Broadfoot Alexander, attended Sir Thomas Maitland during his sudden illness and death from apoplexy.

Following the death of Maitland, Malta and the Ionian Islands reverted to two separate and distinct commands. Sir James McGrigor, Director General Army Medical Services, proposed that the superintendence of both commands should be invested in Hennen: "whose activity, skill, and judgement, may be so much more beneficially exerted in a part of the world which is liable to attack of the most formidable and destructive diseases. Dr Hennen, by having the contract of the Mediterranean arrangements for the troops in both commands, his vigilance will be more usefully directed to the means of securing the whole from the chances of contagion".2

Hennen was to report concurrently to the Marquess of Hastings, the new Governor of Malta, and to the General Officer commanding in the Ionian Islands.

9 Feb 1824 Inspector of Hospitals John Hennen MD a widower of Castlebar Ireland, married Isabella Bissett of Perth Scotland, a spinster.

Malta Mar 1825 Left Malta.

Author: Sketches of the Medical Topography of the Mediterranean, comprising an account of Gibraltar, the Ionian Islands and Malta. London 1830.

3 Nov 1828 Died at Gibraltar from Yellow Fever. A memorial tablet erected in his memory in King's Chapel Gibraltar, states: "in the day of calamity, sacrificed all considerations of his own safety for the public zeal".

Sources

  1. Entry No: 1971. Johnston W. Roll of Commissioned Offices in the Medical Service of the British Army. Vol I (20 June 1727-23 June 1898), Aberdeen (1917).
  2. 1Kempthorne G A, The Egyptian Campaign of 1801. J R Army Med Corps (1930), LV; 217-230.
  3. 2TNA:CO 158/37 AMD 15 July 1824, McGrigor to Taylor.
  4. Smythies R H Raymond, 1894. Historical records of the 40th (2nd Somersetshire) Regiment, Swiss A H Devenport, p 82.
  5. Hennen J, Medical Topography of the Mediterranean.