David Bruce Naval Hospital Mtarfa

Staff Medical Officers of the Malta Garrison
Schembri Josiah

Apothecary Josiah (Joseph) Schembri MRCS (Lond 1817)
2 Apr 1787 – ?

1803–1804 Two year apprenticeship to Mr G Grech, Apothecary of Valletta.

Attended the National Hospital Malta for 18 months (1804–1805).

1804–1805 For a year attended the lectures in anatomy, physiology, and the practice of surgery given at the Civil Hospital by Aurelio Badatt, former Senior Surgeon of the naval squadron of the Order of St John.

17 Jan 1807 At 19 years, Schembri passed an examination before a Medical Board held in Sicily by order of Inspector of Hospitals W Franklin and at the Army Medical Board in London, and was approved by a committee of the Royal College of Surgeons London.

17 Jan 1807 Employed as an extra Hospital Mate by warrant at the General Hospital Messina, Sicily, until he embarked for Gibraltar in 1807, by order of Dr Franklin.

23 Oct 1807 Embarked for Gibraltar on the expedition of Lieutenant General John Moore. Moore was to take the force that had been evacuated from Egypt after the failure of the Second Egyptian Campaign and go to Portugal to assist the Royal Family, who under pressure from Napoleon for Lisbon to close its ports to British Shipping, was preparing to depart for Brazil, a Portuguese colony.

Apr 1808 Ordered to return to Sicily from Gibraltar and served as an Extra Hospital Mate at the General Hospital Messina till his embarkation to Naples on 10 Sept 1809.

Feb 1809 Examined once again by the Medical Board.

10 Sept 1809 Embarked for Naples on the expedition of Lieutenant General Sir John Stuart. Was present at the siege and capture of Ischia and Procida. After two months, he returned to Sicily with the expedition and took charge of the medical stores at Milazzo Northern Sicily, and was on duty as a Hospital Mate in the garrison for 18 months (12 April 1812).

21 June 1812 Embarked for Alicante on the Eastern Coast of Spain with the Expedition of Lieutenant General Frederick Maitland. On Wellington request, Maitland led a diversionary army of 6,550 men to the East Coast of Spain where General Louis Suchet held Barcelona, Tarragona and Valencia with 28,000 men.

21 June 1812 – April 1814 Served in the Peninsular War. Present at Alicante, and took part in the action at Hierna on January 1813.

28 Dec 1812 Hospital Assistant to the Forces for General Service.

27 Feb 1813 Josiah Schembri was appointed Hospital Mate for General Service, by a commission dated 17 Dec 1812, vice Hospital Mate Gibb William Richardson, promoted Assistant Surgeon 81st Foot.

Nov 1813 Became an Apothecary to the Forces, by a commission dated 14 Oct 1813, and continued to serve on the Eastern Coast of Spain till Apr 1814, when he embarked for Genoa.

Apr 1814 Apothecary in Genoa. Was present at the capture of Genoa in 1814.

Ordered by Inspector of Hospitals James Borland to proceed to Sicily in charge of the Medical stores, and to relieve the gentlemen in charge of the stores in that island.

Oct 1815 Left Sicily for Corfu, after the evacuation of Sicily by British troops in October 1815. Was placed in charge of the medical stores of the Ionian Islands.

25 Apr 1816 Was relieved by Apothecary to the Forces Edmund Starkie, and proceeded to England in charge of invalids, where he arrived on 25 June.

25 Aug 1816 Reduced to half-pay by order of the Army Medical Board, after a service on full-pay of 9 years 7 months and 7 days. Remained on half pay for 13 years.

1816 At St George's Hospital London where for a year attended the lectures in anatomy, physiology, and the practice of surgery given in London by Mr Joseph Constantine Carpue.

1817 At St George's Hospital London where for 4 months, attended the lectures in chemistry given by W. Thomas Brandes, and concurrently lectures on the Principles and Practice of Surgery given by Mr George James Guthrie, a former army surgeon and later president of the Royal College of Surgeons.

2 May 1817 Member of the Royal College of Surgeons of London.
For 4 months served at The Duke of York Military Hospital Chelsea.

30 June 1817 Examined by the Army Medical Board.

25 Oct 1818 At Valletta, from where he proceeded to the Hotel-Dieu Hospital Paris, where for six months attended lectures on the Practice of Medicine given by Dr J. B. Larroque.

6 Aug 1826 Married at Messina Sicily. Resided in Messina, but recorded having no children in his returns of service of 10 February 1829.

Gazette 13 Mar 1835 Recalled to the Service from half-pay. Appointed Apothecary to the Forces in the Ionian Islands vice Apothecary George Middleton, who was placed on half-pay.

21 Sept 1860 Retired.

Sources

  1. Entry No: 3529. 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. Succession Book Vol 2 (1 May 1846). Returns of service of medical officers in the Regular Army.
  3. TNA:WO 25/700, Returns of the General and Staff Officers and officers of the hospitals attached to the forces in Malta (25 June 1808–24 Dec 1808).
  4. TNA:WO 25/3906, Returns of service and professional education dated 25 Oct 1818. From Jan 1807 to August 1816, folio 128.
  5. TNA:WO 25/184, f 111, War Office 27 Feb 1813 - Notification books to the Secretary of State.
  6. TNA:WO 25/3901, No 964 Returns of service and professional education officers.
  7. TNA:WO 31/360, AMB to Torrens dated 11 Dec 1812.
  8. TNA:WO 25/773, f 70, Return of service of officers on half pay rendered under the circular letter 22 Oct 1828.