Lives of the fellows

Henry Jules (Sir) Blanc

b.17 September 1831 d.30 September 1911
MD Montpellier MRCS(1859) FRCP(1882)

Henry Blanc was the son of Henry Antoine Blanc of Belmont, who was normally resident in London, and his wife Louisa, daughter of Charles Maurer of Nyon. He received his medical education at Montpellier and then served with the French forces in the Crimea from 1855 to 1856. Having taken the English M.R.C.S. diploma in 1859, he enlisted in the Bombay Medical Service as an assistant surgeon and served in the China War of 1860-1862. His next appointment was as surgeon to the mission to Abyssinia in 1864. With its other members, he was seized by King Theodore and imprisoned for nearly two years. Blanc had the courage to protest to his captor against the cruelty of their treatment, which included their forced attendance to watch the fate of fellow-prisoners hurled over a precipice, and his action won the king’s admiration. On his release, he joined the British forces at the capture of Magdala. His adventures were recorded in two published Narratives in 1868. After his return to Bombay, Blanc was made senior surgeon and professor of surgery at the Grant Medical College. His skill brought him a wide reputation, and the success of his operations for vesical calculus earned him substantial rewards from Indian princes. He published, in 1873, a work on the Treatment of Cholera. In 1887 he left the service with the honorary rank of deputy surgeon-general. He settled in Cannes and established a select consulting practice. The Prince of Wales was among his patients and, on his accession to the throne, awarded him the K.C.V.O. Blanc was a man of strong will and striking character, and also of great ability in his profession. He married in 1877 Stella, daughter of Eyre Burton Powell, C.S.I, of Madras.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1911; B.M.J., 1911; Who was Who, 1897-1916, 68; Roll of I.M.S., 470]

(Volume IV, page 284)

<< Back to List