David Bruce Naval Hospital Mtarfa

Regimental Surgeons of the Malta Garrison
Lindsay William

Assistant Surgeon William Lindsay
? 1787 – 21 Sept 1830 [Plymouth]

6 Apr 1809 Assistant Surgeon 73rd Regiment of Foot.

18 May 1809 Assistant Surgeon 96th Regiment of Foot.

2 Nov 1809 Assistant Surgeon 36th (Herefordshire) Regiment of Foot.

1811–1813 Served in the Peninsular War.

Malta Sept 1817 Arrived from Portsmouth.

Malta 1818 On duty with 36th Regiment.

Malta 1819 On duty with 36th Regiment at Floriana. During the second half of 1819, he took over the medical charge of his regiment while surgeon Thomas Bouchier was relegated to the sick list.

Malta 1820 Fell ill with a violent orchitis which Lindsay said was "brought on by the unusual heat and climate of that island". In 1827, Lindsay wrote to the Secretary for War, The Most Honourable the Viscount Palmerston where he complained that after eight years he still suffered pain and inconvenience and hoped that his Lordship will grant him some remuneration".1 It is possible that his illness was Malta Fever or Brucellosis which like mumps also presents with an inflammation of the genitals.

Malta 23 Feb 1821 In England on sick leave till 22 Aug 1821.

Malta 1822 On duty with 36th.

1823 On duty in Corfu with his regiment.

Malta 4 Mar 1824 Promoted Surgeon 18th (The Royal Irish) Regiment of Foot. On 15 Mar 1824, the Director General Army Medical Services wrote to Lindsay about the Officers' Benevolent fund encouraging a donation to the fund. McGrigor wrote " I am indeed happy to congratulate you on your promotion having appeared in the Gazette on Saturday, I beg to send you last year's report on our Charitable Institutions, that for the orphans and for cases of distress among officers of the Medical Department".1

On his promotion "a faithful friend" gave him a few words of advice on the new regiment that he was taking medical charge of. He warned "... they are of very bad material and very troublesome as far as their hospital concerns go. The medical department has long been rotten on the 18th and you have very odd people to deal with. The hospital sergeant, who remains here, is apparently a very simple and ignorant fellow- but I believe him to be the reverse and I know that he acts as as spy upon all the actions and words of the medical officer. I therefore caution you to trust him in nothing. The apothecary, Mr Davies is a very poor creature. Not a word passes in your corps that is not reported to the chief. In short follow the precept of our Divine Master, be harmless as a dove, but it will, in a peculiar manner, be hove you to be wise as a serpent. Forbid in the most positive manner the admission of female visitors to your hospital".1

1825 On duty with 18th.

1826 His health deteriorated and became "exceedingly uncertain and precarious". He complained of general weakness, general derangement, a weak stomach, little appetite and continually torpid bowels. Left Corfu and proceeded to England.

21 Sept 1830 Died at the Royal Hospital Stoke Plymouth aged 43 years.

Sources

  1. Entry No: 2934. 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. Papers of William Lindsay. Letters claiming compensation for an infection contracted whilst on active service in Malta 1823-27: Wellcome Institute RAMC 262 Box 27, 1811-1829.
  3. 1The trials of a Regimental MO - a flashback to the 1820's. The AMS Magazine (1955), vii; 2: 38-40 (Apr 1955).