Lives of the fellows

Ambrose Neponucene Trelawney Meneces

b.19 March 1904 d.28 May 1979
CB(1963) CBE(1944) DSO(1945) MB BS Lond(1928) MRCP(1946) DTM&H(1949) FRCP(1960) Fellow of UCL(1950)

Ambrose Meneces was born in London, the son of Joseph Meneces, a Portuguese teacher of languages, and his wife Amy Trelawney Tremayne. He graduated in 1928 at University College Hospital and began his career in the Royal Army Medical Corps in 1929.

His early years were spent in India. In 1936 he returned to study at the Royal Army Medical College, where he distinguished himself in clinical subjects and qualified as a specialist in medicine. After service as a physician at Shorncliffe, Captain Meneces was posted back to India in March 1939.

He spent a short time as medical specialist in Poona, and then transferred to administrative duties, in which he rapidly earned recognition for his intellect and industry. As a staff officer at GHQ India in 1941 he was largely responsible for the complete reorganization of the military training of the Indian Hospital Corps.

In 1944 he was appointed deputy director of medical services of the 15th Indian Corps, which took part in the Arakan operations, the capture of Akyab, Ramree and Rangoon. He was twice mentioned in despatches, received the DSO and was made CBE. His experience in Burma led to his being regarded as a leading expert in the medical evacuation of war casualties.

Major (T/Brigadier) Meneces returned to England in 1945 and resumed the practice of medicine at the Cambridge Military Hospital, Aldershot. He became MRCP in 1946 and obtained his MD in 1947. The next four years were spent as reader in tropical medicine at the Royal Army Medical College. He delivered a paper at the 12th International Military Medical Congress in Mexico in 1949, and became staff examiner for MD London, and examiner for DTM&H.

After two years as officer commanding the British General Hospital in Japan, and one year as chief of plans and operations of the medical branch of SHAPE, he regained the rank of brigadier in 1957, when he was appointed deputy director of Medical Services of 1 British Corps in Germany. Promotion to major general followed in 1958 on appointment as DDMS Western Command, and then director of Medical Services, BAOR, in 1961. He completed his service as commandant of the Royal Army Medical College from 1963, and retired after more than 36 years in March 1966.

He was appointed honorary physician to the Queen in 1960 and was awarded the CB in 1963.

Ambrose Meneces was greatly respected throughout his career for his intellect and his unfailing courtesy and helpfulness. His interests extended beyond medicine and its administration in peace and war, and included a wide range in the arts.

In 1934 in Sialkot, Punjab, he married Elsie Gertrude, daughter of Revd Francis Hunt. She died in 1976, and he was survived by his second wife, Cecilia Ethel Parker.

Major General AT Cook

(Volume VII, page 391)

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