Staff Assistant Surgeon Robert Lawson
QHP LRCS (Ed 1834) LLD (Aberd 1885)
28 Mar 1815 – 8 Feb 1894 [Aberdeen]
1834–1835 Attended the course of lectures on Military Surgery given by Professor George Ballingall, Regius Professor of Military Surgery at the University of Edinburgh (1822–55).
Won the Military Surgery Class Prize of the University of Edinburgh (1834–35) for the best essay submitted from his class on the topic: On the means of preserving the health, and promoting the efficiency of Soldiers and Seamen, especially in warm climates.1
The competition was conducted in the presence of the Principal of the University and the Professor of the Medical Faculty. The prize entitled him to an appointment in the Army Medical Department.
15 May 1835 Staff Assistant Surgeon.
Malta 3 Aug 1835 Arrived from England.
Malta 3 Aug 1835 Soon after his arrival he was attached to the 7th (Royal Fusiliers).
Malta 1836 Staff Assistant Surgeon.
June–Oct 1837 Epidemic of Cholera at Malta.
Malta 1837 Thanked in General Orders by Major General Sir Henry Bouverie for his service during the cholera in Malta. Likewise, all the medical officers in the garrison were thanked by the Governor for their services.
Malta Sep 1837 Attached to 47th (Lancashire) Regiment of Foot till April 1838.
Malta 1838 Attached to 47th Foot.
Malta Apr 1838 Staff Assistant Surgeon.
Malta 1839 Staff Assistant Surgeon.
Malta 9 July 1840 Left for England.
28 July 1840 Appointed Assistant Surgeon 47th (Lancashire) Regiment of Foot vice Assistant Surgeon Thomas Fox who became Assistant Surgeon 7th Dragoon Guards.
1844 Published Observations on the effects of climate in the production of diseases of the lungs, as shown in the statistical reports on the sickness, mortality and invaliding in the Army, (Edinburgh Medical Journal volume 62 (1844) page 27.
16 Dec 1845 Surgeon 43rd (Monmouthshire Light Infantry) Regiment.
27 Oct 1846 Staff Surgeon of the 1st Class.
1847–52 On duty at Sierra Leone.
1853–54 On duty in Gambia. Was present at the storming and destruction of the native Mandingo Town Sabagee, Gambia on 1 June 1853.
8 Dec 1854 Promoted Deputy Inspector General of Hospitals.
8 Nov 1854–15 Jan 55 Served in the Crimea. Was PMO at Balaclava. Censured by Lord Raglan for allegedly providing insufficient medical aid and comforts for over 200 sick and wounded on the transport vessel Avon which sailed for Scutari on 4 December 1854. Was consequently relieved of his duties by Inspector General Hall, but was later reappointed to a senior clinical post at Scutari.
Awarded the Imperial Order of the Medjidie (4th Class) by the Sultan for his distinguished services before the enemy during the war against Russia.
1856–60 Served in Jamaica. In 1859, published Observations on the outbreak of yellow fever among the troops at Newcastle, Jamaica in 1856.
1860–62 On duty at Curragh, Ireland.
1863–67 On duty at the Cape.
1866 Published Pandemic waves in the production of cholera, (AMD report volume 8 (1866) page 383.
9 Mar 1867 Made Inspector General.
1867–72 On duty in Aldershot. In 1868, published On aneurysm and diseases of the heart at Aldershot, (AMD report volume 10 (1868) page 267.
19 June 1872 Retired to half-pay, having completed 37 years service on full pay.
1873 Elected a Fellow of the Statistical Society.
- Entry No: 4405. Johnston W. Roll of Commissioned Offices in the Medical Service of the British Army. Vol 1 (20 June 1727-23 June 1898), Aberdeen (1917).
- Biographical details of Medical Officers of the British Army on full pay (1826–1840).
- TNA:WO 25/3901, Records of Service - Officers of the Medical Department (1790–1847).
- Succession Book Vol 1 (1 May 1846). Returns of service of medical officers in the Regular Army.
- 1Kaufman M H, The Regius Chair of Military Surgery in the University of Edinburgh, 1806–55. Amsterdam–New York: Rodopi B V, 2003, p138-139.