Medical Officers of the Malta Garrison
McKinnon David Reid

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117 Surgeon David Reid McKinnon MA (Aber 1840) LRCS (Ed 1842) MB (Aber 1843)
21 May 1821 [Aberdeen] – 5 Apr 1906 [Redhill Surrey]


Surgeon General David Reid McKinnon was born in Aberdeen in 1821. He took the diploma of LRCS (Edin.) in 1842, and the degree of MB from Marischal College, Aberdeen in 1843, being the first student of his year. He entered the Medical Service of the army, obtaining a high place and a prize in the competition.

In 1844, he went to India as Assistant Surgeon to the 78th Highlanders at Hyderabad during a prevalence of severe sickness and mortality. He served ten years in India, and was transferred to the 21st Royal North British Fusiliers on promotion as Surgeon in 1854. He was present during the whole of the Crimean war, took part in the battles of Alma, Balaclava, Inkerman, and the capture of Sebastopol, receiving a special recommendation from Lord West, the commanding officer of the regiment. He received the Crimean medals with four clasps, the Order of the Legion of Honour, and the Turkish Order of the Medjidie.

On 22 June 1858, Surgeon General David Reid McKinnon married Annie Caroline Arrowsmith, daughter of Dr William Lamb Arrowsmith, at St Paul's Anglican Cathedral, Valletta. They had four children.

After serving in the Mediterranean, West Indies, Canada, and Ireland, he was again sent to the East Indies for five years. In 1861 he was transferred to the Medical Staff, becoming Surgeon-Major in 1863. On his return home he was sent on duty to Manchester and York, and afterwards to Aldershot, and was afterwards Principal Medical Officer to Netley Hospital, Southampton.

Service Record — David Reid McKinnon

12 Dec 1843 Assistant Surgeon 2nd West India Regiment.

26 Jan 1844 Assistant Surgeon the 78th (Highlanders) Regiment of Foot.
Accompanied the regiment to India. Served in India for ten years.

28 Mar 1854 Promoted surgeon the 2nd/Rifle Brigade, from 78th Foot.

7 Apr 1854 Surgeon 21st (Royal North British) Fusiliers Regiment of Foot. Served in the Crimean War. Was present at the Battles of Alma, Inkerman, Balaclava, and the siege of Sevastopol, and the expedition to Kinbourn.

16 June 1856 Received the Order of the Légion d' honneur in the grade of Chevalier (5th Class).

Malta 4 July 1856 Arrived from England.

Malta 1857 Surgeon the 21st Foot.

2 Mar 1858 Received the Imperial Order of the Medjidie (5th Class) by the Sultan for his distinguished services before the enemy during the war against Russia.

Malta 22 June 1858 Married Annie Caroline Arrowsmith at St Paul's Anglican Cathedral, Valletta.

Malta 1859 On duty with his regiment.

Malta 16 Mar 1860 Left for the West Indies.

22 Feb 1861 Appointed Staff Surgeon vice Francis Holton appointed Surgeon 77th Foot.

1861 Birth of a a son David Reid in St Lucia, West Indies and died at Belize, British Honduras.

1862 Posted to the Walmer, Deal Kent.

12 Dec 1863 Staff Surgeon Major.

1863 Birth of a daughter Annie May, at Deal Kent.

1863 Posted from Walmer to London.

1864 – 1866 On duty in London.

1866 Birth of a daughter Jean R. in England.

1866 – 1868 On duty in Canada.

1869 – 1871 At Nova Scotia.

29 Nov 1871 Deputy Surgeon General Army Medical Department.

15 Oct 1871 Birth of a son Lachlan in Aberdeen. Capt Lachlan McKinnon, 2nd/Derbyshire Regiment, was killed in action at Gumburru Somaliland, on 17 April 1903, aged 32 years.

1872 Posted to Curragh and Dublin.

1873 – 1877 On duty in Bombay (Poona).

1878 On duty in Manchester.

11 Jan 1879 Surgeon General. PMO Royal Victoria Hospital Netley.

1879 On duty in Yorka.

1880 On duty in Aldershot and Netley.

1881 In Netley.

21 May 1881 Retired on half-pay. In August, Deputy Surgeon-General Michael Fenton Manifold was promoted Surgeon-General vice Surgeon-General D. R. Mackinnon.

1 December 1898 Death of Annie McKinnon at Malta aged 58 years.

5 Apr 1906 Died at Redhill Surrey. A memorial, together with that of his son Lachlan, is inscribed on the side of the tomb of his wife, Annie Caroline McKinnon at Ta' Braxia Cemetery Pieta.


  • Drew R., 1968. Entry No: 4757. Medical Officers in the British Army 1660 – 1960. Volume 1: 1660 – 1898. London: Wellcome Historical Medical Library.
  • RAMC/PE/3/27/Drew. Manuscript for Drew's Roll.
  • Succession Book Vol 4 (1 May 1846). Returns of service of medical officers in the Regular Army.
  • Obituary Br Med J (1906), 956; (Published 21 April 1906).
  • Naval and Military Medical Services Br Med J (1881), 380; (Published 27 August 1881).