Medical Officers of the Malta Garrison
Mayne Cyril Frederick

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37591 Major (T/Lieutenant Colonel) Cyril Frederick Mayne OBE TD MA MB FRCSED
1890 — 4 May 1983


Mr Cyril Frederick Mayne was consultant surgeon to the South Devon and East Cornwall Hospital, Plymouth. He studied at Cambridge and St George's Hospital. He qualified in 1913.

His obituary reads: House surgeon at St George's Hospital, Hyde Park corner. At the outbreak of the First World War he left as house surgeon, to join the Naval Brigade and proceeded to Antwerp. He served in the Gallipoli Expedition and was evacuated to join the British Expeditionary Force on the Western Front in 1916, in time for the Battle of the Somme and onwards. In 1939, at the start of the Second World War, he left his surgical appointment at Plymouth to join the Royal Army Medical Corps. He served mainly in Malta under conditions of constant danger from incessant bombing by the Italian Air Force, shortage of food and water, electric light cut off, and operations carried out by candle light. He also served in North Africa and Italy and became a Lieutenant Colonel commanding a surgical division in the forward area. He was decorated by Tito for his work among the Yugoslavs After his second war he returned to Plymouth, where he remained as consultant surgeon until his retirement.

Service Record — Cyril Frederick Mayne

10 Sept 1941 Reported to No 11 Depôt and Training Establishment RAMC Leeds on the incorporation of No 39 General Hospital.
Officer-in-charge Surgical Division No 39 GH St Andrews.

Malta 8 Nov 1941 Appointed Officer Co-ordinating Surgical Supplies and Policy for medical units in the command. The average surgeon had no conception of the difficulties involved in acquiring supplies and considered the Dockyard and Ordnance should be at his complete individual disposal. All demands for surgical supplies had to go through Lt Col Mayne. Produced a loan pool of specialised surgical instruments to be maintained in Malta for use on demand by any hospital.

Malta 15 Jan 1942 Bombs fell on the Pembroke ranges and near the new sister's mess, killing 2 and wounding 12 men of the RMA who were out on the ranges. Col Mayne narrowly escaped injury when a bomb exploded near the sisters' quarters that he was inspecting.

Malta 23 Feb 1942 Left Malta by air to attend conference in the Middle East.

Malta 30 May 1942 Reported on the suitability of using the site at Mellieha Infantry Camp as a tented 200-300 bed hospital for 39 GH, which had been destroyed by enemy bombing at St Andrews on 25 April.

Malta 16 July 1942 Officer in charge Surgical Division No 39 General Hospital.

Malta 26 July 1943 Command Advisor in Surgery. Moved from 39 GH on posting to No 90 GH as officer in charge Surgical Division vice Lt Col H O McMerewether.

Malta 21 Oct 1943 Took temporary command of No 90 General Hospital on the posting of Colonel Harding Geoffrey Duncan.

Malta 30 Nov 1943 Posted to No 100 General Hospital.


  • TNA:WO 177/1360, War Diaries No 90 General Hospital April 1940 to September 1946.
  • TNA:WO 177/1274, War Diaries No 39 General Hospital Sept 1941 to December 1944.
  • Medical New Year Honours, Br Med J (1967) 1:46 (Published 7 January 1967).
  • Obituary, Br Med J (Clin Res Ed) (1983) 286:1760 (Published 28 May 1983).