RAMC Officers
Of the Malta Garrison
Thomas Fielden Briggs
1898 – 1971

56022 Major (A/Lt Col) Thomas Fielden Briggs

OBE (1945) TD MRCS LRCP (1923)

T F Briggs
Col T F Briggs No 10 (Br) Convalescent Depôt Rome 1944 (RAMC/800)

Doctor Thomas Fielden Briggs OBE, TD, MRCS, LRCP, formerly in General Practice in Banbury, died suddenly while playing golf on 20 February at the age of 73. He was educated at Taunton School. Like so many of his contemporaries, he became a soldier immediately after leaving school. From the Inns of Court OTC he was commissioned in the Royal Field Artillery in November 1916. At the end of the war he studied medicine at St. Thomas's Hospital, qualifying in 1923. After house appointments he joined a practice in Banbury, and became Honorary Medical Officer to Horton General Hospital.

He joined the RAMC (TA) and was medical officer to the Oxford Yeomanry until the outbreak of the Second World War. A keen Divisional Surgeon in the St John Ambulance Brigade, he became County Commissioner in 1956, county vice-president in 1968, and was promoted Knight of Grace of the Order of St John in 1962. In the Second World War he took part in the Anzio beach-head landing as ADMS. Later he commanded and organised 10th Convalescent Depôt in Rome. On demobilisation he became colonel in command of 16th General Hospital (TA). He was twice mentioned in dispatches.

Tankard
Tankard with date Malta 27 July 1941, presented to Lt Col T F Biggs by 15th Fld Amb (Courtesy N Edmunds).

At the end of the war he served both as SHMO and on the management side of Horton General Hospital. In 1966, on retirement from active hospital work, he was made emeritus physician to the hospital. A long-standing member of the BMA, he was president of the Oxford Division in 1953. His long and distinguished career was further recognized by his appointment as Deputy Lieutenant of Oxfordshire in 1968.. He was knowledgeable and interested in pictures, antiques, and in his garden. He was a great sportsman, and played rugby for Banbury, fox hunted between the wars, and sailed whenever he could get away. He was a keen golfer and captained the Tadmarton Golf Club, where he played regularly.1

Service Record

Nov 1916 Commissioned in the Royal Field Artillery. Served in France. Was wounded in 1918.

25 May 1918 2nd Lt T F Briggs was promoted Lieutenant Royal Field Artillery.

1923 At the end of the war studied medicine at St Thomas's Hospital qualifying in 1923.

24 May 1934 Lt T F Briggs RAMC was promoted Captain RAMC (TA).

Medical Officer (RAMC TA) Oxford Yeomanry.

27 July 1941 Arrived from Gibraltar by Sunderland Flying Boat and took over the command of No 15th Field Ambulance from Major Gordon Francis Edwards RAMC.

1942 CO 15th Independent Brigade Group Field Ambulance and SMO Malta (North).

10 July 1943 Moved from HQ Naxxar to Reception Station Sliema.

HMHS Dinard
HMH Carrier Dinard in tow after being mined on D Day (RAMC/839).

14 Oct 1943 Handed over duties of SMO Malta to Major Charles Vernon Light who became OC Reception Station Hamrun.

23 Nov 1943 HMH Carrier Dinard arrived and disembarked 57 stretcher cases and 134 walking wounded. On 24 November 1943, 15 Fd Amb embarked on HMH Carrier Dinard and sailed for Syracuse. Officers embarked were T/Lt Col T F Briggs, T/Maj W R M Morton, T/Maj G A Wilson, Capt P K D Edmunds, Capt Christie R, Lt (QM) Cox and Lt Coddington W R RASC. The men went into a transit camp at Brindisi, awaiting their move to Bari.

6 Apr 1944 Maj (Temp Lt Col) T F Briggs was mentioned in recognition of gallant and distinguished services in Malta.

June 1944 Took command of No 10 (British) Convalescent Depôt Rome soon after the army entered Rome.

11 Apr 1945 War Substantive Major T F Briggs was promoted to Major.

17 Feb 1950 The King conferred two clasps to the Efficiency Decoration of Col T F Briggs.

1 Oct 1953 Col T F Briggs transferred from the Active List to the Territorial Army Reserve of Officers with the rank of Colonel and retaining his seniority.

9 Aug 1955 Col T F Briggs, having attained the age limit of liability to recall ceased to belong to the Territorial Army Reserve of Officers on 11 July 1955, retaining the rank of Colonel.

Bibliography