RAMC Officers
Of the Malta Garrison
Alexander Dawson
1882 –1980

Colonel Alexander Dawson

OBE (1933) MB ChB (Aberd 1905) DPH (Lond 1910)

14 Apr 1882 [Aberdeen] – 21 June 1980

A Dawson
Photograph of Colonel Alexander Dawson taken at Malta (RAMC/2091).

Colonel Alexander Dawson qualified MB ChB form the University of Aberdeen in 1905. He won the Shepherd Memorial Gold Medal for Systematic and Practical Surgery for 1905. He obtained the Diploma in Public Health from the University of London in 1911 and was a specialist in dermatology and bacteriology. In 1931, he contributed a chapter on yaws in A system of Bacteriology in relation to medicine published by the Medical Research Council.

Colonel Alexander Dawson was commissioned Lieutenant in the Royal Army Medical Corps on 30 January 1906. He was one of forty successful candidates who passed the examination held in London for commissions in the RAMC, for which seventy four candidates competed. He came 16th in seniority with 515 marks; the highest score was 595 of Dr Charles Milligan Drew, the lowest was 475 of Dr Philip Smyly Stewart.

Colonel Alexander Dawson served as Director of Pathology at the War Office and as Deputy Director of Medical Services Malta Command. He was also Vice President and then President of the Malta Branch of the British Medical Association.

Service Record

30 Jan 1906 Lieutenant RAMC on probation; confirmed in rank in July 1906.

Apr 1908 Change of Station from London District to Mhow. Was appointed Specialist in Dermatology, 5th (Mhow) Division.

June 1909 Change of Station from Mhow to Wellington. Appointed Specialist in Dermatology, 9th (Secunderabad) Division.

30 July 1909 Promoted Captain RAMC.

Nov 1911 Captain A Dawson MB, 9th (Secunderabad) Division, was ordered to sail on the Plassy to Aden to take charge of the Brigade Laboratory vice Captain Eyre William Powell RAMC.

Dec 1911 Change of Station from Wellington to Aden.

Feb 1912 In charge of the Brigade Laboratory at Aden.

Nov 1912 Appointed Staff Surgeon, Steamer Point, Aden, and placed in medical charge of the 23rd (Fortress) Company 3rd Sappers and Miners.

April 1913 Change of Station from Aden to Curragh.

May 1913 Change of Station from Curragh to Glen Imaal Camp County Wicklow.

Sep 1913 Change of Station from Glen Imaal Camp to Curragh.

Oct 1913 Change of Station from Curragh to Royal Army Medical College. Appointed a Specialist in Bacteriology.

1914–1919 Served with the British Expeditionary Force in France and Belgium.

30 Jan 1918 Promoted Major RAMC.

1919–1923 Served in India.

1925–1928 Served in Jamaica.

1 Oct 1928 Arrived in England from Jamaica.

1928–1930 Assistant Professor of Pathology Royal Army Medical College.

1 June 1930 Promoted Lieutenant Colonel RAMC.

1930–1932 Assistant Director of Pathology War Office.

1932–1934 Assistant Director of Pathology Eastern Command. In June 1933 was made an Officer of the Military Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the King's birthday honours list.

1 May 1934 Promoted Colonel L/RAMC.

Malta 8 Sep 1934 Arrived from England as Deputy Director of Medical Services Malta Command. Left his post of Director of Pathology at the War Office for administrative duties at Malta.

Malta 1935 DDMS Malta Command. Vice President of the Malta Branch of the British Medical Association.

Malta 1936 DDMS Malta Command. A clinical meeting of the Malta Branch of the British Medical Association was held at the University of Malta on 6 November 1936 when about 50 members including some of the Principal Officers of the army and navy were present. Professor P P Debono read a paper on the Surgical treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis The paper was followed with a discussion in which Colonel A Dawson participated.

Malta 31 Mar 1937 Elected President of the Malta Branch of the British Medical Association for 1937 with Professor A V Bernard OBE as Vice President. He succeeded Professor of Surgery Peter Paul Debono.

1 Apr 1937 Retired on retired pay with reserve liability.

1939 In 1939, the caseload of skin diseases at the Dermatology Department of the University of Aberdeen had increased so significantly that Colonel Alexander Dawson was appointed Honorary Medical Officer in the department.1

1 Sep 1939 Colonel Dawson was recalled to the army on the outbreak of the Second World War, He served as Assistant Director of Medical Services HQ East Anglia Area.

1940–1946 President of Standing Medical Board Scottish Command.

28 May 1946 Retired conclusively.

May 1949 Ceased to belong to the Regular Army Reserve of Officers having exceeded the age limit of liability to recall.