Medical Officers of the Malta Garrison
McGann James

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1443 Surgeon James McGann LRCSI (1872) LKQCPI (1873)
28 July 1851 [Carron Co Clare] – 20 Feb 1929


Surgeon James McGann entered the Army Medical Department as a surgeon in 1874. He served in the First Boer War of 1881 when he was present in the engagements at Laing's Nek (mentioned in despatches) and the Ingogo River (mentioned in despatches).

Surgeons James McGann, James Ring and Surgeon-Major Thomas Babington were all mentioned by Sir George Colley in his dispatch of 1 February 1881, for distinguished service in attending to the wounded under fire at the battle of Laing's Nek.

The British Medical Journal Reported:

Ninety-five invalids left Natal for England in the Thames on 30 April 1881. Most of them were from the 58th, 6oth, and 92nd Regiments, who were wounded at the battles of Laing's Nek, Schuinshoogte and Majuba Hill. The shower of bullets must have been heavy indeed, for many of them were shot in two or three places. There were penetrating wounds of the chest, abdomen, groins, hips, legs, arms, joints and eyes. An examination of these men and their wounds proves how much credit is due to Drs Babington, Ring and McGann of the army and Dr Mahon of the navy, who were in the front during the whole of this critical period, for the care and skill which has resulted in the recovery of such serious injuries. Surgeon-Major Stokes, at the base-hospital, Newcastle, had many successful cases after the battle of the Ingogo.1

Lieutenant Colonel James McGann retired in 1895 and died in 1929.

Service Record — James McGann

30 Sept 1874 Gentleman James McGann was commissioned Surgeon.

1875 Posted to the West Indies from Portsmouth.

1876 – 1878 On duty in the West Indies.

1878 Moved to Aldershot from the West Indies.

13 Dec 1878 – 17 Sept 1881 Served in the Cape Colony. Commended by Sir Evelyn Wood VC for services during the Boer Campaign.

Feb 1882 Moved to Portsmouth from the Cape.

Sept 1882 Served in Fort Gomer, Gosport.

Malta 14 Mar 1884 Arrived from England.

Malta 1885 On garrison duty.

Malta 16 May 1886 To England on leave.

Malta 4 Sept 1886 Returned to Malta.

Malta 30 Sept 1886 Promoted Surgeon-Major twelve years after entering the service.

Malta 1887 On garrison duty.

Malta May 1888 Resident at Officer's Quarters Pembroke Camp. Returned to England on leave.

Malta 31 Aug 1888 Returned to Malta.

Malta 8 Mar 1889 Left for Aldershot, England.

30 Sept 1894 Promoted Surgeon-Lieutenant Colonel having completed twenty years' service on full-pay.

25 Sept 1895 Placed on retired pay.

June 1901 – Apr 1903 Brought back on the establishment and placed in medical charge of troops at Dublin. Relinquished his medical charge of troops Dublin in 1903.

1904 – Aug 1907 Employed in charge of troops at Detention Barracks Dublin.


  • Entry No: 6564. Johnston W. Roll of Commissioned Offices in the Medical Service of the British Army. Vol 1 (20 June 1727-23 June 1898), Aberdeen (1917).
  • RAMC/PE/3/27/Drew. Manuscript for Drew's Roll.
  • Succession Book Vol 15. Returns of service of medical officers in the Regular Army.
  • 1Naval and Military Medical Services Br Med J (1881), 869 (Published 28 May 1881).
  • Naval and Military Medical Services Br Med J (1889), 919 (Published 20 April 1889).