No 344 Deputy Surgeon General William D Cattell MRCS (Eng 1853)
23 Nov 1829 [Castle Bromwich Warwickshire] – 20 Mar 1919 [Hove]
Deputy Surgeon General William D Cattell qualified MRCS in 1853 and entered the Army Medical Department as an Assistant Surgeon on 28 March 1854.
He served with the 5th Dragoon Guards throughout the Eastern Campaign of 1854–1855 and was present at Balaclava, Inkerman, Tchernaya (15 August 1855), and the siege and fall of Sebastopol.
He received the Crimea Medal with three clasps, the Sardinian Medal and the Turkish Medal.
Deputy Surgeon General William D Cattell also served in the Second Afghan War of 1878–1879. He was present at the capture of Ali Musjid on 21 November 1878 and the action of Fatehabad on 2 April 1879, for which he received a medal with clasp.
1850 Completed a two years' apprenticeship. Entered King's College London, passing the matriculation into London University in 1850 with honours in chemistry. Qualified MRCS in 1853.
28 Mar 1854 Commissioned Assistant Surgeon 23rd (Royal Welsh Fusiliers) Regiment of Foot through the patronage of Mrs Sidney Herbert.
14 Apr Exchanged with Assistant Surgeon David Woods 5th (Princess Charlotte of Wales's) Dragoon Guards.
27 May 1854 Embarked on the Himalaya with 5th Dragoon Guards for the Crimea. The transport stopped at Malta, and after a short break proceeded to Scutari. It sailed into Varna Bay on 12 June. In late July, the Light Division camped at Devno were suddenly struck with cholera.
Sep 1854 Sailed for the Crimea. The bombardment of Sebastopol commenced on 17 October. Assistant Surgeon Cattell was present at the Battles of Balaclava, Inkermann, Tchernaya, and the Siege of Sebastopol.
13 May 1856 Left the Crimea. Arrived at Portsmouth on 28 June. On Home service.
12 July 1864 Promoted Staff Surgeon from 5th Dragoon Guards. Sailed for South Africa.
5 Aug 1864–1866 Embarked on the Union Mail Steamer Cambrian at Plymouth for Capetown. Served on the medical staff at the Capetown. Acted as churchwarden and Sunday school teacher in Pietermaritzburg.
16 Nov 1866 Acted as Senior Medical Officer and surgeon to the 2nd/20th (East Devonshire) Regiment of Foot which arrived in the Cape from Japan towards the latter half of 1867. The commanding officer 2nd/20th put a stop to Cattell's appearance in amateur theatrics, as being below the dignity of a medical officer.
24 Jan 1867 Married Caroline Pickering Goodricke at St Paul's Church, Durban South Africa. She was the daughter of John Richardson Goodricke, a member of the Council and a cousin of Sir Harry Goodricke, one of the very early settlers in Natal, and Charlotte Duncan Goodricke. Among the wedding guests were the Governor and the Secretary for Native Affairs. The couple spent their honeymoon at Redcliffe, a plantation about twenty miles from Pietermaritzburg, belonging to a friend of the family.
June 1870 The 2nd/20th left for Mauritius. Owing to the appearance of measles on board the transport, the families were isolated in a special quarantine station and kept away from the troops who were quarantined on the Ile aux Tonneliers. Surgeon Cattell was appointed Acting Superintendent of the Temporary Quarantine Station.
1872 Returned home with the 2nd/20th. Left the battalion and moved to Colchester to take up his appointment with the 10th Royal Hussars.
2nd/20th Battalion Orders dated 15 December 1872 acknowledged the assistance and advice received by the commanding officer from Surgeon W Cattell during his service as surgeon of the battalion and assured him of the good wishes of all ranks of the 2nd/20th on posting to his new regiment.
11 Dec 1872 Commissioned surgeon 10th Hussars. Served as the medical officer of the 10th Hussars until March 1878, when he moved to the Staff in Bengal.
1872–1880 Botanist. Collected plants in Mauritius, Simla, and Afghanistan.
9 Jan 1873 Embarked with his regiment for India. Stationed in Muttra.
28 Mar 1874 Promoted Surgeon–Major.
4 July 1875 Arrived at Simla. Developed a large ulcerating discharging carbuncle on his back. He was seen by Surgeon Major J P Sutherland MD Civil Surgeon Simla who certified him to be in a bad state of health and recommended leave of absence until 1 November to enable him to recuperate in the hills at Simla.
1878–1879 Served in the Second Afghan War with 10th Hussars. He was present at the capture of Fort Ali Musjid and the action at Fatehabad.
27 Nov 1879 Promoted Brigade Surgeon when that rank was first instituted on 27 November 1879.
1880 Posted to Aldershot. Worked at the newly erected Cambridge Military Hospital.
Malta 2 June 1881 Arrived from Aldershot as a Sanitary Officer.
18 Dec 1881 Returned to England on the medical staff at Aldershot.
Proceeded to Nova Scotia, as PMO to the forces in Canada on the resignation of Surgeon-General John Sheldon Furlong.1
12 Mar 1882 On duty in Nova Scotia. Promoted Deputy Surgeon General.
1886 Left Canada for Home Service. Posted as PMO Cork, Ireland.
23 Nov 1889 Placed on the retired pay at Ballincollig. Brigade Surgeon Samuel Archer was promoted to the vacancy of Deputy Surgeon–General, ranking as Colonel, vice William Cattell.2 He passed his retirement painting and gardening.
20 Mar 1919 Died at Hove of influenza and heart trouble, aged 89 years. He was one of the last survivors of the Crimean War. His funeral took place at Hove on 26 March at the church of the Sacred Heart. His two sons Major H Cattell RAMC and Major A Cattell Sherwood Foresters, and three daughters Miss Cattell, Mrs Barnes and Mrs Sugens being the chief mourners. His spouse died on 15 February 1929, aged 79 years.
- Drew R., 1968. Entry No: 5211. Medical Officers in the British Army 1660 – 1960. Volume I: 1660 – 1898. London: Wellcome Historical Medical Library.
- RAMC/PE/3/27/Drew. Manuscript for Drew's Roll.
- Succession Books Vol VII. Returns of service of medical officers in the Regular Army.
- 1Military and Naval Medical Services Br Med J (1882), 1: 136 (Published 28 January 1882).
- Naval and Military Medical Services Br Med J (1889), 2: 1306 (Published 7 December 1889).
- Obituary Surgeon General Cattell, Br Med J (1919) (Published 14 June 1919).
- 2Naval and Military Medical Medical Services Br Med J (1889), 1422 (Published 21 December 1889).
- Papers of Surgeon William D Cattell.
- Obituary. Br Med J (1919), 1: 754 (Published 14 June 1919).