RAMC Officers
Of the Malta Garrison
James Crawford Kennedy
1879 –1944

Lieutenant James Crawford Kennedy

CBE (1924) KPH (1923) MD (Ed 1908) MRCP (Ed 1925)

1 Feb 1879 [St John Glamorgan] – 4 Apr 1944 [Ash Surrey]

kennedy James C
James Crawford Kennedy

James Crawford Kennedy was the son of the Rev W D Kennedy of Perth. He was educated at Perth Academy, Dundee University College and at the University of Edinburgh.

In 1900, he graduated MB BCh Edinburgh. In 1909, he passed for the Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Health (DTM&H) Cambridge, and in 1925 obtained the MRCP from the University of Edinburgh.

Early in his service career, Captain James C Kennedy displayed a special interest in bacteriological research. While serving in Malta, he was appointed a member of the Royal Society Commission on Mediterranean Fever. He became MD (Edin) in 1907 and for his thesis on Malta Fever received a gold medal from Edinburgh University in 1908.

From 1909 to 1913, Kennedy served as Assistant Professor of Pathology at the Royal Army Medical College under Sir William Leishman. He was a member of Leishman's team working on the improvement of the anti-typhoid vaccine originated by Sir Almroth Wright.

While in India in 1913, he investigated an outbreak of beri-beri among British troops. He received the thanks of the Government of India for his measures which proved effective in halting the disease. Between 1914 and 1918, he was officer commanding station hospital and bacteriologist of the enteric convalescent depôt Naini Tal, for which he was mentioned in the India despatches. He later served in Mesopotania.

Kennedy had served as chairman of the Joint Medical Service Committee inquiring and reporting on the incidence of tuberculosis in the services and had also been the War Office representative to the British Association for the prevention of tuberculosis.

Service Record

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Medical orderlies with James Crawford Kennedy Station Hospital Valletta circa 1906 (RAMC 1675/11)

29 Nov 1900 Lieutenant RAMC.

3 May 1901 Arrived from Maryhill Glasgow.

1902 Officer in charge of the Fever Wards at the Station Hospital Valletta.

In the introduction to his thesis on Malta Fever presented to the University of Edinburgh in April 1908, Kennedy states that he arrived in Malta in May 1901 and served there until September 1906. During most of that period he was stationed at the Military Hospital Valletta and being in charge of Acute Fever Wards saw most of the cases of Malta Fever which passed through, amounting to two to three hundred annually.

Malta 30 May 1902 Present at a General Meeting of the Malta and Mediterranean Branch of the British Medical Association which was held at Valletta under the presidency of Surgeon–General Thomas O'Farrell.

14 Apr 1903 Home leave.

Malta 24 July 1903 Returned to Malta. Officer in charge of the Valletta Laboratory.

Malta 19 Nov 1903 Promoted Captain RAMC.

24 Jan 1904 Home on sick leave. In 1903, he contracted Malta fever and was invalided home for three months.

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Staff photo in the courtyard of the Station Hospital Valletta circa 1906 (RAMC 1675/11)

19 Apr 1904 Returned to Malta. In 1904, he assisted the members of the Royal Society Mediterranean Fever Commission in their clinical investigations and at the end of the year was appointed a member of the Commission.

1905 At Valletta as part of the Mediterranean Fever Commission.

The members of the Mediterranean Fever Commission, 1904 were: Major William Horrocks RAMC, Staff–Surgeon Ernest Shaw RN, Dr Themistocles Zammit, Dr Ralph Johnstone, Captain James Crawford Kennedy RAMC, and Staff-Surgeon Ernest Gilmour RN.

Long ward
Long Ward Station Hospital Valletta circa 1906 (RAMC 1675/11)

Jan 1906 On duty at Valletta.

1906 Tour expired, but was retained supernumerary to the strength of the Malta Command, so as to serve on the Mediterranean Fever Commission (1904–1906).

Kennedy had served on the Commission until its close in September 1906. Being as it were a permanent member, he carried on the work during the absence of the other members for six months in each year. He was the only working member with the exception of Dr T Zammit who formed part of the Commission throughout its working existence.

23 Oct 1906 Left Malta for England, and thence to India. Capt Kennedy was the oldest RAMC inhabitant and a prominent member of the Mediterranean Fever Commission. He was always ready to give advice when any doubtful serum worried the clinicians, while in the pursuit of the fever-infected goat he was untiring - more so, indeed than the Maltese goat-keeper altogether appreciated. Before his departure Capt Kennedy was entertained at dinner by all the officers of the RAMC.

7 June 1907 Highly commended by the Royal Society for his services in connection with the investigations into the causes of Malta Fever.

1908 Specialist in Bacteriology. Obtained the University of Edinburgh Gold Medal for his thesis on Malta Fever. Parts I and III of his thesis dealt with the aetiology, epidemiology, immunity and prophylaxis of Malta Fever. Part II gave a description of the clinical conditions based on the personal observations of 250 cases.

23 Aug 1909 – 1913 Assistant Professor of Pathology, Royal Army Medical College Millbank, London.

29 May 1912 Promoted Major RAMC.

11 July 1912 At the Church of St Peter and Paul, Great Bowden, by the Rev Canon Nance, assisted by the Rector, the Rev H W Brutzer, Major J Crawford Kennedy, eldest son of the Rev D W Kennedy, of Perth, married Eileen, eldest daughter of Mr Daniel Woodruffe, of The Mount, Market Harborough.

26 Aug 1913 Birth of a daughter at The Mount, Market Harborough.

1913 – 1918 Served in India.

Jan 1914 Reported the presence of agglutinins for the Micrococcus melitensis in the milk and blood serum of cows in London, putting forward the possibility of cow's milk as a source of human infection. In 1918, Miss Alice Evans showed that these agglutinins were due to infection with Brucella abortus.

6 July 1915 Birth of a daughter at Dunedin, Naini India to Eileen wife of Major J Crawford Kennedy.

18 Mar 1918 Promoted Lieutenant Colonel RAMC.

1918 – 1920 Served in Mesopotamia.

8 May 1920 – 3 Jan 1922 Professor of Tropical Medicine, Royal Army Medical College, Millbank.

1922 – 1923 Served in Constantinople as Consultant Physician to the British Forces in Turkey.

27 Sept 1923 Appointed Honorary Physician to the King and received the Brevet of Colonel.

3 June 1924 Appointed Companion Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the birthday honours.

1923 – 1929 Consultant Physician to the Army.

30 May 1928 Promoted substantive Colonel L/RAMC.

1930 – 1932 Assistant Director of Medical Services (ADMS) Poona, India.

30 May 1932 Retired. Post retirement served on the Ship Surgeons Subcommittee of the British Medical Association in 1938 – 39, and held the post of Medical Inspector of the Peninsular and Oriental and Allied Steamship Companies, and associated shipping lines.

4 Apr 1944 Died at Ravenscroft, Ash, Surrey. He left a widow, two daughters and a son, who was a serving lieutenant in the RAMC.