b.11 October 1853 d.17 February 1918
MD Durh MRCS FRCP(1900)
Fleming Sandwith, the son of Col. J. W. F. Sandwith, was born at Belgaum in India and educated at Charterhouse. He studied medicine at St. Thomas’s Hospital and qualified in 1876. His first employment, in the same year, was as surgeon with the National Aid Society’s Ambulance serving in the Turco-Serbian War, for which he was awarded the Order of Takova. In the Turco-Russian War of 1877-1878 he undertook similar duties with the Stafford House Ambulance and retreated with Baker Pasha over the Rhodope Mountains. After a period of practice in Wandsworth, he went to Egypt in 1883 to fight a cholera epidemic. His work there earned him the post of vice-director of the Egyptian Public Health Department and was followed by appointment as physician to the Kasr-el-Ainy Hospital in Cairo and to the chair of medicine at the Cairo Medical School. His career was again interrupted by the South African War, in which he served as senior physician to the Imperial Yeomanry Hospital, Pretoria.
In 1904 Sandwith relinquished his Egyptian appointments and became a lecturer at the London School of Tropical Medicine. In 1907 he began to lecture on tropical diseases at St. Thomas’s Hospital. In his later years he also acted as Gresham professor of physic, examiner for London and Liverpool Universities and the Conjoint Board, and senior physician to the Albert Dock Hospital. He delivered the Lettsomian Lectures at the Medical Society of London in 1914. The 1914-1918 War found him once more in military employment, at first as physician to King George’s Hospital and latterly as consulting physician, with the rank of colonel, to the East Mediterranean Force; the strain of his wartime service indeed contributed to his death. Sandwith’s career was memorable chiefly for the hospital reforms which he inaugurated in his early days in Egypt. He was a quiet, reserved man, invariably calm and collected, his inner confidence disguised by a cynical turn of speech. He was twice married: firstly, to Annie Christina, daughter of W. Glassford, and, secondly, to Gladys, daughter of Humphry Sandwith, F.R.C.P, a distant relative. He had two sons and two daughters. He died at Bournemouth.
G H Brown
[Lancet, 1918; B.M.J., 1918]
(Volume IV, page 423)
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