Medical Officers
Of the Malta Garrison
Thomas Fiddes
1788 – 1836

Surgeon Thomas Fiddes

BSc MB ChB (Glas 1938) DPH (1939)

8 Oct 1788 [Mongabay Nr Enniskillen Co. Fermanagh] – 7 August 1836 [At sea Nova Scotia]

Siege of Burgos Sep–Oct 1812

Surgeon Thomas Fiddes entered the Army Medical Department as a hospital mate in 1808. He served throughout the Peninsular Campaign (1808–1814) in Portugal as a hospital assistant under Sir John Moore and Sir John Craddock and in Spain and France as an assistant surgeon under the Duke of Wellington.

In Portugal, Surgeon Fiddes served at: Obidos (15 August 1808), Rolica (17 August 1808), Vimeiro (21 August 1808), in the advance on Oporto (10–11 May 1809) and in the capture of Oporto (12 May 1809). He was wounded in the retreat to Corunna, receiving a deep flesh wound through the left shoulder.

In Spain, he took part in the operations against Ciudad Rodrigo (9 January 1812), the Siege of Badajoz (7 April 1812), Salamanca (22 July 1812), Burgos (21 Oct 1812), Tordesillas (October 1812), Vitoria (21 June 1813), San Sebastian (25 July 1813), Bidassoa (7 October 1813) and the investment of Bayonne (14 April 1814). He was wounded at Salamanca where he received a slight flesh wound to his left hand. At Vitoria he sustained a severe contusion in the left eye by the passage of a cannon ball which left him with slightly impaired vision. He was granted a pension for his wounds.

Surgeon Fiddes was thanked by Major General Hay Commanding the 5th Division, the Inspector General of Hospitals and the officer commanding the 2nd/47th Regiment for re-establishing the health of that corps while in winter quarters following the retreat from Burgos.

Surgeon Fiddes died at sea on 7 August 1836 on board the Stakesby transport during his passage from Cork to Halifax Nova Scotia. He left a young widow and two children.

Service Record

16 June 1808 Hospital Assistant.

16 June 1808–27 Apr 1809 Took part in the Peninsular Campaign 1808–1814. Served in Portugal.

28 Apr 1809–Feb 1811 Served in Gibraltar.

14 Nov 1809 Promoted Assistant Surgeon 9th (East Norfolk) Regiment of Foot on the death of Assistant Surgeon Milne.

Aug 1811–2 Aug 1814 Served in the Peninsular War.

26 May 1814 Promoted Surgeon 38th (1st Staffordshire) Regiment of Foot vice Surgeon Cornelius Ryan promoted on the staff. Hospital Assistant John Johnstone was promoted to the vacancy created in the 9th Foot by the promotion of Fiddes.

3 Aug 1814–27 Sep 1814 Served in America.

24 Dec 1814 Reduced to half-pay on the reduction of the 2nd/38th Foot.

20 Apr 1815 Recalled from half-pay and appointed Surgeon 10th (North Lincolnshire) Regiment of Foot.

17 Aug 1815 From the 10th Foot exchanged with Surgeon William Vallange 85th (Bucks Volunteers Light Infantry) Regiment.

Malta 13 June 1821 Arrived from Gibraltar.

Malta 1822 Surgeon 85th (Bucks Volunteers) (King's Light Infantry) Regiment.
Was sick throughout the year and unable to look after the regiment. In Sep, proceeded home on sick leave in charge of invalids.

Malta 1823 On detachment duty in England since the beginning of the year.

21 Apr-23 July 1823 On leave.

Malta 24 Jan-24 Nov 1824 Absent from the island.

Malta 1825 On duty with his regiment.

Malta 1826 On duty with his regiment.

Malta 15 Jan 1827 Surgeon Thomas Fiddes, a bachelor, married Anne Galland, aged 16 years, spinster and only daughter of Lieutenant James Galland Royal Malta Fencible Regiment.

Malta Jan 1827 The 85th Regiment embarked for Gibraltar. Fiddes left Malta for Gibraltar on 10 February 1827.

11 Feb 1827–4 Apr 1828 Served in Gibraltar.

Malta 5 Apr 1828 Returned from Gibraltar.

Malta 13 Dec 1828 Birth of Robert Augustus William Fiddes.

Malta 1829 Surgeon 85th Foot.

Malta 30 Apr 1829 Robert Augustus William Fiddes was baptised on 30 April 1829 by Archdeacon John Thomas Howe Le Mesurier Chaplain to the Forces.

Malta 8 Oct 1830 Appointed surgeon 8th Regiment of Light Dragoons vice Surgeon Robert Badenach who was promoted Surgeon to the Forces. The appointment did not take place and Staff Surgeon James Dawn 10th Foot was appointed vice Fiddes on 2 Nov 1830.

Malta 12 May 1830 Birth of Francis Frederick Fiddes.

Malta 3 June 1830 Francis Frederick Fiddes, son of Thomas Fiddes and Anne was baptised on 3 June by Archdeacon John Thomas Howe Le Mesurier Chaplain to the Forces.

Malta 25 Oct 1830 Death of Francis Frederick Fiddes aged 5 months, son of Surgeon Thomas Fiddes 85th Regiment.

Malta 13 Nov 1830 Embarked for England.

Malta 25 Jan 1831 Returned from England.

2 Aug 1831 Birth at Malta of Fanny Melita Fiddes, daughter of Surgeon Thomas Fiddes and Anne, his wife. The child was baptised by the Rev John Cleugh Chaplain to Government on 13 October 1831.

7 Aug 1836 Died at sea on board the Stakesby transport during his passage from Cork to Halifax Nova Scotia.

29th Feb 1840 Anthony Bertlin, aged 21 years, a bachelor resident in Valletta, married Anne Fiddes, widow of Surgeon Thomas Fiddes.