Medical Officers
Of the Malta Garrison
George Saunders
1823 – 1913

No 149 Surgeon Major George Saunders

MRCS (Eng 1845) CB (Mil 1869) MD (St And 1872) MRCP (Ed 1872)

10 Oct 1823 [Cork] – 6 Mar 1913 [Tunbridge Wells]

Deputy Inspector General George Saunders took the diploma of MRCS in 1845 and entered the Army Medical Department in December 1845. He served in the Crimea and was present at the battles of Alma and Inkerman, the capture of Balaclava, and the siege of Sebastopol. He was mentioned in despatches and was awarded the medal with three clasps and the Turkish medal. In 1865, he was senior medical officer in Hong Kong during the fever epidemic. He was mentioned in despatches and awarded the Companion of the Bath (CB).

Surgeon Major George Saunders retired in February 1871, with the honorary rank of Deputy Inspector-General. He was the author of a number of publications including the Healer-Preacher: Sketches and Incidents of Medical Mission Work and Reminiscences written when he was 85 years old. In this book, Saunders penned his military experiences in the Crimea, Cape, China, and Japan and related his Christian missionary zeal, undertaken wherever quartered. On retirement in 1871, he laboured for ten years in a London Medical Mission, in the squalid region of St Giles.

Deputy Inspector General George Saunders died at Tunbridge Wells on 6 March 1913, aged 89 years.

Service Record

16 Dec 1845 Assistant Surgeon 47th (Lancashire) Regiment of Foot.

Malta 29 Mar 1854 Arrived from England with detachments.

20 Oct 1854 Promoted Staff Surgeon of the 2nd Class from 47th Foot.

Malta 6 May 1855 Left for Turkey and the Crimea on board the transport Apollo. Present at the Battle of Inkerman, the capture of Balaclava, the siege of Sebastopol and sortie on 26 October.

12 Feb 1856 Staff Surgeon Saunders congratulated Inspector of Hospitals John Hall KCB on receiving the Knight Companionship of the Bath. Writing from Monaghan, Ireland he said:

......accept my sincere congratulations coming as they do from one who had served under you during a campaign the most trying to the Medical Department, the more so, as it has been made the channel by which others have escaped censor. But it is most gratifying, and I am confident to all who have been in the Field with you, that you have never yielded from the important post of Head of the Medical Staff and now especially is the gratification increased, that your able services under the most toilsome and distressing circumstances have in some measure been noticed, even at this late period.1

1856 – 1861 On duty in the Cape.

1862 In Belfast.

1863 In Belfast and the Cape.

1864 Returned to Belfast.

20 Sep 1864 Appointed Surgeon 2nd/9th (East Norfolk) Regiment of Foot vice Surgeon William Armstrong who moved to the Staff.

20 Dec 1864 Promoted Surgeon Major dated 28 July 1862 (London Gazette 20 December 1864).

1865 Senior medical officer in Hong Kong during the fever epidemic.

16 Dec 1865 Surgeon Major 9th Foot.

17 Apr 1867 Staff Surgeon Major.

1867 In Bristol.

June 1869 Appointed an Ordinary Member of the Military Division of the Third Class, or Companion of the Order of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath in recognition for his services during the fever in Hong Kong.

1870 Surgeon Major Bristol Recruiting District. Published Practical Remarks on the examination of recruits for the army.

15 Feb 1871 Retired on half-pay with the honorary rank of Deputy Inspector General.

1898 At St George's Club Hanover Square London.

1906 At the Royal Societies club St James' Street, London.

6 Mar 1913 Died at Tunbridge Wells, aged 89 years.