Medical Officers of the Malta Garrison
Stewart Philip Smyly

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Major Philip Smyly Stewart MB BCh BAO (Dubl 1903)
27 Mar 1879 – 27 Jan 1949


Major Philip Smyly Stewart was the second son of the Reverend Robert Warren Stewart of the Anglican Church Missionary Society. On 1 August 1895, the Rev R W Stewart along with his wife, Louisa Kathleen nee Smyly, and two of his young children, Herbert Norman (6 years) and Hilda Sylvia (13 months) were killed at Huashan, Fukien Province, China by a party of Chinese, members of a secret society known as Vegetarian. Three other children, Mildred (12 years), Kathleen (11 years) and Evan (3 years) survived the massacre. Philip Smyly (16 years) together with his two brothers Arthur (18 years) and James Robert (14 years) had remained at school in England while their parents were in China.

Major Philip Smyly Stewart graduated MB BCh from Trinity College Dublin in 1903 and also became a Bachelor in the Art of Obstetrics (BAO). He 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 was placed 40th in seniority with a total of 475 marks; the highest mark was 595 scored by Dr Charles Milligan Drew.

Major Philip Smyly Stewart was serving in Malta on the outbreak of the Great War, when all the army medical officers were returned home and replaced by the 1st London (City of London) Field Ambulance. In August 1914, he mobilized at Tidworth with the 3rd/Worcestershire Regiment and deployed to France with the British Expeditionary Force. He was wounded in action on 21 October 1914, when he received a rifle bullet to his chest, sustaining a severe, but non permanent injury.

Service Record — Philip Smyly Stewart

30 Jan 1906 Appointed Lieutenant RAMC on probation; confirmed in rank in July 1906 and posted to Cork.

Sep 1906 Change of Station from Cork to Ballincollig.

Malta 13 Feb 1908 Arrived from England.

Malta June 1908 On duty in the country (Ghajn Tuffieha) in charge of camps.

Nov 1908 Passed his examination for promotion of Majors of the Royal Army Medical Corps in technical subjects.

Malta 31 Jan 1909 Home leave.

Malta 24 Mar 1909 Returned to Malta. Officer in charge of Non-dieted (ND) hospital Fort Chambray Gozo.

In 1909, Fort Chambray was temporarily reoccupied after lying empty for nearly three years. Lt P S Stewart gave a series of lectures on hygiene to the troops. The married quarters at Fort Chambray were beautifully situated and popular with families in Malta who required a change of air.

Malta 30 July 1909 Promoted Captain RAMC.

Malta 1910 On duty at Cottonera Military Hospital.

Malta 1911 On garrison duty. Owner of the RAMC dinghy the Midget. Honorary Secretary of the Mediterranean Skiff Club which was formed in 1905. The sailing club was wound up in 1916 after most of its military members deployed to the front.

Malta 1 Feb 1912 Home leave.

Malta 31 Mar 1912 Returned to Malta.

Malta 1913 On garrison duty.

Malta 19 Feb 1914 Change of Station from Malta to Tidworth (Southern Command).

28 July 1914 Start of the Great War.
4 Aug 1914 Britain declares war on Germany.

13 Aug 1914 Mobilized with the 3rd/Worcestershire Regiment; embarked with the British Expeditionary Force for France and Belgium.

21 Oct 1914 Wounded in action with a rifle bullet through his chest, when he sustained a severe but non permanent injury.

Apr 1916 Granted the rank of Temporary Major whilst in command of a Field Ambulance. In October, he relinquished his temporary rank on posting.

30 Jan 1918 Promoted Major RAMC.

1920 – 1921 Served in Mesopotamia.

1921 – 1923 Served in India.

1927 – 1929 Served in China.

Malta 29 Jan 1929 Arrived from China.

Malta 21 Mar 1929 Home leave.

Malta 26 Aug 1929 Returned to Malta.

Malta 12 Oct 1929 Home leave.

Malta 10 Nov 1929 Returned to Malta having married on 5 November 1929.

Malta 5 Sep 1930 Returned to England.

Oct 1930 – Nov 1930 Served in China.

20 Nov 1930 Retired on retired pay.

27 Mar 1934 Ceased to belong to the Regular Army Reserve of Officers having exceeded the age limit of liability to recall.


  • Entry No: 512. Drew R. 1968. Commissioned Officers in the Medical Services of the British Army 1690–1960. Vol II Roll of Officers in the Royal Army Medical Corps 1898–1960, London: Wellcome Historical Medical Library.
  • Succession Books Vol XXII, Returns of statement of service of RAMC Officers.
  • Stacke H FitzM., The Worcestershire Regiment in the Great War. Kidderminster 1928.