Medical Officers
Of the Malta Garrison
Laurence Corban
1842 – 1918

Surgeon Major Laurence Corban MD (1864) DPH

19 Aug 1842 – 26 July 1918

Nile Expedition 1884
The Nile Expedition 1884–85 (Main Guard Valletta)

Surgeon Major Laurence Corban served in the Egyptian War of 1882 in medical charge of 2nd/The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry. He landed in Egypt on 23 July. He remained with his regiment until after the termination of all active operations by the capture of Cairo, which permitted the withdrawal of the greater portion of the troops. His regiment was always to the front during the campaign, and Dr Corban was in every battle, so that he had ample opportunities of noting deficiencies.

Surgeon Major Laurence Corban recorded his observations in Experiences of an Army Surgeon during the Egyptian Expedition of 1882. In his pamphlet of twelve pages, Corban made several comments on the quality of the food, clothing, equipment and medical aid, which if adopted, he believed would improve military sanitation in future campaigns. The following points, embracing the well being and physical fitness of an army in the field, were noted:

As to future expeditions, Surgeon Major Corban considered that all the medical sections of the force should be complete and combined; should be shipped together in the same steamers; and arrive, as far as possible, at the point of descent on the hostile shore at the same time. Hospital ships should also accompany these transports, in order to receive the first sick, wounded and invalids, who, after a short sea trip, would be able to return to their duty. He was also emphatic as to the great advantage of the early treatment of the sick, and the keeping of all the ordinary mild cases in camp.

Service Record

30 Sep 1864 Staff Assistant Surgeon.

9 June 1865 Assistant Surgeon 49th (Hertfordshire-The Princess of Wales's) Regiment.

24 Nov 1869 Assistant Surgeon 21st Hussars.

1872 Was specially thanked by Lord Napier of Magdala, Commander-in-Chief in India, in General Orders for services during an epidemic of cholera in Oude in 1872.

1 Mar 1873 Promoted Surgeon.

30 Sept 1876 Promoted Surgeon–Major.

Malta 14 July 1882 Arrived from Gibraltar on his way to Alexandria, Egypt, where he disembarked on 23 July.

18 Nov 1882 Served in the Egyptian War of 1882, in medical charge of 2nd/The Duke of Cornwall's Light Infantry, until the capture of Cairo, which permitted the greater portion of the troops to leave. He was present in the engagements at El Magfar and Tel-el-Mahuta, in the two actions at Kassassin, and at the battle of Tel-el-Kebir. He was mentioned in despatches and received a special promotion to Surgeon–Major with relative rank of Lieutenant Colonel.

1884–1885 Served in the Nile Expedition as Senior Medical Officers to the Camel Corps, Medical Field Inspector on the Lines of Communication, and Senior Medical Officer at Abu Fatmeh.

24 Feb 1888 Promoted Brigade–Surgeon, ranking as Lieutenant Colonel, vice John Mackenzie retired.

12 Sep 1888 Was granted retired pay but was employed at Aldershot while on the retired list.