RAMC Officers
Of the Malta Garrison
Damodaran Kesavan
1907 –1960

171599 Major Damodaran Kesavan

MB BS (1934) MRCP (Ed 1950) DTM&H (1951)

12 Oct 1907 [Kerala India] – 12 Jan 1960 [Asansol]

K Damodaran
Dr Kesavan Damodaran (Courtesy Thayavalapil Kyprat Sunil).

Dr Kesavan Damodaran was the twin brother of Mr Justice K Sadasivan of Kerala High Court from 27 October 1966 to 2 February 1974. In 1928, he took a degree in physics at Madras University. He graduated MB BS in 1934. Soon after, he worked for a year as a medical officer in the Maldive Islands, where he was highly praised for his work on leprosy.

He held the post of house physician in the Government General Hospital, Madras, (now Chennai), before moving to England. In 1939, he took the Conjoint Examination of the Royal College of Physicians of London and Royal College of Surgeons of England. He then entered General Practice in Whitechapel.

In February 1941 he was granted a Land Force Emergency Commission in the Royal Army Medical Corps as a Lieutenant. He served in military hospitals in England, Scotland, and Malta where he remained for two years. Later he went to Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and India, holding the rank of Major.

After demobilisation from the RAMC, he pursued post graduate training in Edinburgh and in 1950 took the MRCP of Edinburgh. He returned to India where he was appointed chief physician at the Central Hospital, Dhanbad. In 1954, he became Superintendent of the new Central Hospital, Asansol, Bengal.

K Damodaran
Dr K Damodaran with the first Prime Minister of Independent India Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru possibly on the occasion of the inauguration of the new Central Hospital Asansol (Courtesy T K Sunil).

Dr Damodaran built the Central Hospital into one of the best known institutions connected with the coal-mines welfare scheme in India. He had also under his charge two regional hospitals and one tuberculosis clinic in Ranigunj coalfield and two regional hospitals in Madhya Pradesh coalfield.

He took a keen interest in industrial medicine, undertaking much research on pneumoconiosis. He was a member of the three man committee appointed to advise the Government of India on the workings of the Workmen's Compensation Act. For two years he was also President of the Asansol branch of the Indian Medical Association.

His obituary in the British Medical Journal dated 14 May 1960, states that:

Dr Damodaran often remarked that the best education was to be had by travel. He loved and admired beauty and nature and was deeply religious. With his death in the prime of life the medical profession has lost a physician of sound judgment, an efficient administrator, and a man who was loved by all who came into contact with him.

Service Record

1939 Set for the London Conjoint Examination [LRCP (Lond) MRCS (Eng)].

6 Feb 1941 Granted a Land Force Emergency Commission in the RAMC with the rank of Lieutenant.

6 Feb 1942 Promoted to WS/Captain RAMC.

22 Aug 1942 War Substantive Captain. General Duties Medical Officer No 45 General Hospital St Patrick's Barracks Pembroke.

17 July 1943 Posted to No 3 British General Hospital from No 45 General hospital.
No 3 GH was in Sidon between August 1942 and January 1944 when it set up at Amiriya. On 31 December 1946 it was re-designated British Military Hospital Amiriya.

4 Nov 1944 Published in the British Medical Journal a paper on Infective Hepatitis in the Malta Garrison.

WS/Capt K Damodaran recorded his clinical observations of 450 cases of infective hepatitis admitted to a military hospital in Malta during 1941, 1942 and the early part of 1943. Over 65% of cases occurred in October, November and December among soldiers aged 20 to 29 years. About 6% were in the RAMC including medical orderlies of other units. One patient out of the 450 admitted died of acute hepatic necrosis.

12 May 1951 Relinquished his Regular Army Emergency Commission, and was granted the honorary rank of Major.

1954 Appointed Superintendent of the Central Hospital, Asansol, Bengal.

12 Jan 1960 Died of a myocardial infarction aged 52 years. He left a widow, Mrs Devaki Damodaran a well known educationist in the State of Madras (Chennai). Mrs Damodaran was the Principal of Lady Willington Training College, Madras from 1956 to 1958.