Medical Officers of the Malta Garrison
Welch Francis Henry

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883 Surgeon Colonel Francis Henry Welch
FRCS (Eng 1871) LSAL (1860)
2 May 1839 [Stansted Essex] – 25 Oct 1910 [Southborough Kent]


Surgeon Colonel Francis Henry Welch obtained his medical education at the London Hospital, where in 1860, while a medical student, was awarded the gold medal. He entered the Army Medical Department as an Assistant Surgeon on 1 April 1861 and retired in 1895. In 1888, he served in the Hazara Expedition; he was mentioned in dispatches and received the Frontier Medal with clasp.

From 1871 to 1876 he was Assistant Professor of Pathology at the Army Medical School Netley. He contributed a number of medical papers including:

Sir William Osler said that he was the first pathologist to prove that syphilis was the chief cause of aneurysm.

Service Record — Francis Henry Welch

1 Apr 1861 Staff Assistant Surgeon. Gazetted on 17 Sept 1861, the commission being antedated to 1 April 1861.

1 Apr 1861–10 Oct 1862 On duty in the United Kingdom.

17 Nov 1861 Reduced to half-pay due to a reduction in the establishment.

28 Mar 1862 Restored to full-pay and posted to Malta.

Malta 27 Oct 1862 Arrived from England.

Malta 28 Apr 1863 Appointed Assistant Surgeon 1st/22nd (Cheshire) Regiment of Foot. Exchanged from the Staff with Assistant Surgeon John Adcock 22nd Foot.

Malta 1864 On duty with his regiment. Held the view that the seasonal prevalence of enteric fever in Malta was the consequence of increased rainfall saturating the porous rock with moisture and surface flushing and dislodgement of material from drains and sewers contaminating the water in the tanks.

Malta 1865 On duty with his regiment.

Malta 22 Mar 1866 Left for New Brunswick.

24 Mar 1866–28 May 1869 On duty in North America.

29 May 1869–18 Nov 1871 On duty in the United Kingdom.

18 Nov 1871 Appointed Staff Assistant Surgeon vice Staff Assistant Surgeon Edward O'Connell who moved to 22nd Foot.

Dec 1871–1876 Moved to the Army Medical School Netley in December 1871 as Assistant Professor of Pathology.

1872 Won the Alexander Memorial Gold Medalist for his essay on Pulmonary Consumption.

1 Mar 1873 Promoted Surgeon.

19 Mar 1876 Promoted Surgeon Major.

Ian 1877–1882 Served in Madras.

May 1882 Returned to Netley. Won the Alexander Memorial Gold Medalist for the second time for his essay on Enteric Fever its prevalence and modifications, aetiology, pathology and treatment, as illustrated by army data at home and abroad. Recipients of the Alexander Prize had been: Myers (1869), Welch (1872), Porter (1875) Martin (1878) and Welch (1882)

24 Feb 1887 Promoted Brigade Surgeon, vice John Henry Hunt, deceased. Surgeon Major David Charles Grose Bourns who had been placed on half-pay in April 1876, was reappointed to full-pay vice F H Welch.

Jan 1888 Moved from Netley to Bengal. Served On the Black Mountain Expedition with the Hazara Field Force.

5 Apr 1892 Promoted Surgeon Colonel.

Sept 1892 Moved from Cork to Devonport as PMO.

1894 PMO Devonport.

1 May 1895 Retired. He was under orders for service in India, but was exempted on notifying his intention to retire on completing three years in his present rank, which qualified him for the full pension.

Aug 1899 Attended the sixty seventh annual meeting of the British Medical Association held at Portsmouth where he commented on the debate on the Prevention and treatment of syphilis in the Navy and Army. Colonel Welch summarised his conclusions as follows: