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Alfred Baker (1815-93)
Alfred Baker FRCS was an Edgbastonian and, like West, was active in the local and national medical societies. He had been encouraged by his schoolmasters towards a career as an artist but this prospect was unacceptable at home and Baker was apprenticed to a local practitioner before enrolling as a student at the forerunner to Queen’s College, Birmingham and afterwards at St Bartholomew's. Baker was elected surgeon to The General Hospital in 1848 and to the town’s General Dispensary in 1868. Another surgeon, Thomas Gutteridge, tried, unsuccessfully, to ruin Baker’s reputation in 1851.
Gilbert Barling (1855-1940)
Gilbert Barling (later, Sir) was a junior doctor in 1881, went on to become Professor of Surgery at the new University in 1901 and was made that institution’s Vice Chancellor in 1913 after seven years as Dean of the Medical Faculty. Further information about him is available here.
Thomas Hiron Bartleet (1837-91)
Thomas Hiron Bartleet MD FRCS lived in Edgbaston and was involved in the same medical institutions as West. He was a pupil at Queen’s College before entering King’s College, London. He also studied in Paris, Vienna and Berlin. He served at The General, The Children’s and Queen's Hospital.
Alfred Henry Carter (1849-1918)
Alfred Henry Carter MD FRCP FRCS worked for a short time as a ship’s surgeon and once he came to Birmingham held posts at The General Hospital, The Children’s Hospital and West’s own hospital, Queen’s. Like West, he was an active member of the town’s local medical societies. He lived in Edgbaston.
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Thomas Chavasse (1800-84)
Thomas Chavasse (1800-84) FRCS, or possibly Thomas Frederick Chavasse, later Sir, son of the former, (1854-1913) FRCS MD. There is no way of knowing which of the two West refers to. Several members of the Chavasse family were medical practitioners.
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Walter James Clarke (b.1857)
Walter James Clarke (b.1857) was a junior doctor at Queen’s Hospital in 1883.
Walter Balthazar Foster (1840-1913)
Walter Balthazar Foster, later Sir, MRCS; MRCP. Foster was West’s colleague at both Queen’s College and Queen's Hospital, but he was also active in many of the local medical societies frequented by West. Foster was president of the Birmingham and Midland Counties Branch of the BMA in 1883, the year West died. Like West, he lived in Edgbaston. Foster became increasingly involved in both high and low politics and was first elected an MP in 1885. He was described, in Birmingham Faces and Places as a man who spoke ‘fluently and to the point’ but, while his ‘delivery (was) unimpressive’ he apparently never failed ‘to keep the attention of his audience.’
Joseph Sampson Gamgee (1828-86)
Joseph Sampson Gamgee MRCS FRSE. Born in Florence, Gamgee was the son of an English veterinary surgeon. He met West in 1857, when he came to Birmingham in the hope of securing a hospital post as an honorary surgeon at Queen's Hospital. The younger, less experienced West was elected by a majority of one, but Gamgee’s supporters fought for over six months to get the decision overturned. Ultimately both men were elected joint post-holders. The two men came to respect each other and Gamgee attended West’s funeral in 1883. Gamgee belonged to the same local medical societies as West. He lived near the centre of the town, later city. Gamgee is remembered today for his surgical dressings and Hospital Saturday. A biographical article about Gamgee is available here.
Thomas Pretious Heslop (1823-85)
Thomas Pretious Heslop FRCP; MD. Born in the West Indies of an Irish mother and Scottish artillery officer. After an apprenticeship with a medical uncle, he went on to further training at Dublin and Edinburgh. He joined Queen’s Hospital in 1853, a year before West took up his first appointment as residential medical officer at the institution. Disgusted by the behaviour of William Sands Cox and John Birt Davies towards the legitimate election of West to the post of surgeon at the hospital in 1857, Heslop resigned. He and West became very close friends.
Robert Jolly (1841-94)
Robert Jolly MD FRCS. Jolly held positions at Queen's Hospital and at The General. He was also surgeon to Birmingham police force and consulting surgeon to the Dispensary. Jolly lived in Edgbaston.
Ross Jordan (1832-1908)
Ross Jordan MRCS was a surgeon to the town’s hospital for women, an institution of which he was a co-founder, but had limited success as a general practitioner. He suffered an infection of the knee joint in 1877 and had the affected leg amputated in 1880. The local magazine Birmingham Faces & Places famously said of Jordan that he believed erysipelas (a common hospital acquired infection) was often caused by the ‘bad nursing of infants and especially to the filthy ways of slatternly mothers.’
George Jordan Lloyd (1854-1913)
George Jordan Lloyd FRCS; LSA; MD; ChB; MSc. A junior surgeon at the time who went on to succeed West to the post of Honorary Surgeon at Queen's Hospital after his demise. He also worked in other Birmingham hospitals. Lloyd belonged to the same medical societies as West. He died suddenly after a morning in theatre at Queen's Hospital in 1913.
Edward Mackey (d. 1906)
Edward Mackey, a surgeon, had moved away from Birmingham by 1883, but he had been a physician at Queen's Hospital and a lecturer at Queen’s College. Two references written by West for Edward Mackey in 1873 have survived. We know, from them, that West had known him since his student days at Queen’s College. West says he knows of few men ‘whose acquaintance with medical literature is more extensive, or whose practical ability in the exercise of his art is more complete and thorough.’ Edward was the brother of Peter Paul Mackey.
Edward Malins (1841-1922)
Edward Malins, later Sir, MRCS; MRCP; MB; MD; MSurg. Malins was very active in the town’s medical societies as well as undertaking prominent roles in other organisations. He specialised in obstetrics in both The General Hospital and the Women’s Hospital, Birmingham and was made Professor of Midwifery at the new University in 1901. Further information about him is available here.
David Charles Lloyd Owen (1845-1926)
David Charles Lloyd Owen, MRCS surgeon, lived in Edgbaston and belonged to the same medical societies as West. He specialised in ophthalmic surgery and had posts at the General Hospital and at the Birmingham and Midland Eye Hospital.
Oliver Pemberton (1825-97)
Oliver Pemberton FRCS. Like West, Pemberton lived on the Hagley Road in Edgbaston. He was co-founder of the short-lived Midland Quarterly Journal of the Medical Sciences. He was a surgeon at The General Hospital and Professor of Surgery at Queen’s College. Pemberton was also active in the town’s medical societies. Pemberton’s expertise in medico-legal matters was in demand throughout his life and he eventually went on to become the town’s coroner. Further information about him is available here.
James Russell (1818-1885)
James Russell Russell MD was a physician at the General Hospital, Birmingham. Like West, he held a post at the town’s medical school, Queen’s College and lived in Edgbaston. He belonged to the same medical societies as West.
Sir James Sawyer (1844-1919)
Sir James Sawyer MD FRCP was a physician at Queen’s Hospital, Birmingham. His knighthood was largely believed to have been awarded for his political endeavours rather than for his contribution to medicine. He was one of four medical men – three local - who attended West in his final illness. Sawyer belonged to the same medical societies as West and, like West, lived in Edgbaston.
Joseph Priestley Smith (1845-1933)
Joseph Priestley Smith MRCS held a post as ophthalmic surgeon at Queen’s Hospital in West’s day but went on to take up a position at the Birmingham and Midland Eye Hospital and a professorship in ophthalmic surgery at the new University. He was active in the same local medical societies as West and, like West, lived in Edgbaston.
William Henry Sprotson (1822-94)
William Henry Sprotson MRCS was, like West, a freemason, who lived on the Bristol Road in Edgbaston. He was the son of a local clergyman and was one of thirteen children. His apprenticeship fees were paid for by the Governors of the Corporation. Edgbastonia describes him as a doctor who relied on ‘careful watching’ rather than ‘heroic remedies’ and one who would have been thought of as ‘old-fashioned’ had not Dr. Heslop encouraged him to embrace new advances.
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Charles R Suffield (d.1898)
Charles R Suffield LRCP lived at 133, Ladywood Road, close to West’s mother and half-sister. In a study made of fifty doctors’ wills, by the author, Suffield’s estate was the smallest and amounted to just £5.
Charles Warden (1827-1912)
Charles Warden MD FRCS studied at Queen’s College, Birmingham, St George’s, London, Paris and Aberdeen. He held numerous posts in Birmingham and was active in local medical societies. Warden specialised in diseases and afflictions of the ear, nose and throat and was responsible for the remodelling of the Institution for the Relief of Deafness. He lived in Edgbaston.
George Yates (1824-1907)
George Yates, Surgeon Major LSA. Yates lived in one of Birmingham’s new suburbs, Handsworth. He was unique among West’s medical colleagues in having the minimum medical qualification, namely; Licentiate of the Society of Apothecaries. He never held a position in any of the town’s hospitals but, as the diary shows, he often assisted West. A letter written by Gamgee proves that he assisted him too.