Medical Officers of the Malta Garrison Keatinge Alan Francis Heber
Brigadier Alan Francis Heber Keatinge MC (1939) QHP (1969) MB BCh BAO (Dub 1935) DPH (Eng 1948) 13 July 1911 [Dublin] – 20 Aug 1991
Brigadier Alan Francis Heber Keatinge was educated at Trinity College Dublin, from where he qualified MB ChB in 1935. He was House Surgeon at Dr Steevens Hospital, Dublin when on 6 April 1936 he applied for a Short Service Commission in the RAMC.
From 23 October to 31 December 1936, he was seconded to Dr Steevens Hospital, Dublin under the provisions of Art. 213, Royal Warrant for Pay and Promotion, 1931. He entered the RAM College Millbank on 1 February 1937 and the RAMC Depôt on 1 January 1937. He was confirmed in rank in April 1937.
Service Record — Alan Francis Heber Keatinge
23 Oct 1936 Appointed to a Short Service Commission Lieutenant RAMC on probation.
Jan–Oct 1938 Officer-in-medical charge of troops Tigné District.
7 June 1938 Home leave.
3 Aug 1938 Returned from leave. Played cricket regularly for No 30 Coy RAMC.
9 Oct 1938 Left for Palestine. Regimental Medical Officer 2nd/Royal Irish Fusiliers (October 1938–March 1939).
5 Jan 1939 Awarded a certificate of distinguished conduct for his service in Palestine.
Malta 30 Mar 1939 Returned to Malta. RMO 2nd/Royal Irish Fusiliers (October 1938–March 1939).
14 Feb 1939 Was awarded the Military Cross for gallant and distinguished services in Palestine. Captain A F H Keatinge won the Military Cross for attending the wounded under fierce fighting near the village of Um-ad-Daraj on 28 November 1938.
Apr–Aug 1939 Officer-in-medical charge of troops Tigné District.
29 July 1939 Home leave.
25 Aug 1939 Returned from leave.
1 Sept 1939 Acting Major RAMC. Registrar Military Hospital Mtarfa.
Feb 1940–Nov 1940 Senior Medical Officer Malta East and Officer in charge ADS Floriana. The War Office would not sanction the rank of Lieutenant Colonel for SMO Malta East.
Apr 1940 Medical officer in charge ADS Floriana. In his capacity as SMO Area West he inspected Medical Inspection Room Paceville, Delimara Camp and the M I Room at Wolseley Camp Delimara. He carried out embarkation duties on HT Devonshire (3 April 1940), HT Dilwara (5 April), and HMHS Vasna (6 April) when invalids were embarked. The late arrival of HMHS Vasna caused the patients to be kept waiting at Custom House Valletta. Eventually they were returned to Mtarfa Hospital and called back when the ship docked.
30 Nov 1940 The Malta garrison had increased to 16000 troops, excluding naval and Air Force personnel. On 29 November 1940, the War Office sanctioned a Deputy Assistant Director of Medical Services (DADMS) HQ Malta Command with the rank of Major. DDMS Colonel John Smith McCombe chose Major A F H Keatinge as his DADMS. Captain B C Jennings RAMC (T) took over the role of SMO Area East.