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Sandwith, Fleming Mant

Dr. F. M. Sandwith died suddenly on February 17th, at Bournemouth, where he had gone for the benefit of his health after serving for two years as consulting physician in Egypt to the Eastern Mediterranean Force with the temporary rank of Colonel.

Fleming Mant Sandwith was born in 1853, the second son of Colonel J. W. F. Sandwith. He was educated at Charterhouse and St. Thomas's Hospital and took the diploma of M.R.C.S. in 1876 and that of L.R.C.P. Lond. in the following year. In 1893 he graduated M.D. Durh. and became F.R.C.P. in 1900. He saw a great deal of service in various wars. He was an ambulance surgeon in the Turco-Serbian war of 1876, and in the Russo-Turkish campaign in 1877-8; he was present at the fighting at Shipka Pass, and served on Baker Pasha's staff during his retreat across the Rhodope Mountains. In 1883 he went to Egypt to combat a cholera epidemic, and acted as vice-director of the Public Health Department of the Egyptian Government until 1885. He was then appointed professor of medicine in the Egyptian Government Medical School, and physician to the Kasr-el Ainy Hospital, Cairo. In 1900 he became senior physician to the Imperial Yeomanry Hospital at Pretoria, and served throughout the South African war. He was the author of Medical Diseases of Egypt and Egypt as a Winter Resort, and when he settled in London maintained his keen interest in tropical diseases. He was lecturer on tropical diseases at St. Thomas's Hospital and was a lecturer also in the London School of Tropical Medicine, as well as senior physician to the Albert Dock Hospital. He held the Chair of Gresham Professor of Physic in the City of London. He was a member of many medical societies at home and abroad; he was president of the Section of Tropical Medicine at the annual meeting of the British Medical Association in London in 1910, having been vice-president at Leicester in 1905. He delivered the Lettsomian Lectures at the Medical Society of London on dysentery in 1914 and wrote many papers on the prevention and treatment of tropical diseases. In the earlier part of the war he was physician to King George's Hospital. In 1916 he received the C.M.G. in recognition of his services in Egypt. He married the daughter of Dr. Humphrey Sandwith, of Kars, who survives him, with two sons - one a lieutenant in the navy, the other still a schoolboy - and two daughters, the older of whom is married to Squadron Commander Maude R.N.A.S.

The above is a brief account of Dr. Sandwith's medical career, but we would add a few words about "the man" rather than "the doctor". For those who really knew him there was a charm about his personality which greatly endeared him to his friends. Very quiet, almost reserved in manner, with a half-cynical pose which was more assumed than real and which was relieved by a most delightful sense of humour, he was one of the kindest of men, always ready to help, saying little or nothing about it, and never grudging trouble in doing it. He had a wonderful power of sympathy and looking at things from the point of view of those who sought his advice - a power which greatly added to his usefulness to the world.

His health latterly had not been good, and some time ago he underwent a severe operation, from which however he made a good recovery. But he felt the strain of the last two years in Egypt, and the heat, which was more than usually intense, greatly taxed his strength. When he returned home about two month s ago his friends could not fail to recognise that he was worn and jaded. He was still anxious to work, and his retirement from the army was a great disappointment to him; but he took it quietly with a smile, and in the spirit of a soldier. He died gently in his sleep - a happy ending to a strenuous life. British Medical Journal 2nd March 1918

Biographical

Surname(s)Sandwith
First name(s)Fleming Mant
Date of birth11 October 1853
Place of birthBelgaum, Maharashtra, India
Family detailsSon of John William Fleming and Ethel Sandwith
Previous educationCharterhouse School
CollegeSt Thomas' Hospital
Dates at college1872-1876
Dept / courseConjoint Diploma
QualificationsM.R.C.S. 1876, L.R.C.P. 1877, M.D.Dur. 1893, F.R.C.P. 1900
Military unitEastern Mediterranean Force (Consulting Physician)
War / conflictWorld War One (1914-1918)
CampaignsEgypt
Date of death17 February 1918
Rank at deathColonel
Place of deathBournemouth
SourcesSt Thomas's Hospital Medical School Records, King's College London Archives; British Medical Journal; Family Search.org.uk

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