Association of County Medical Officers of Health and the County Medical Officers Group of the Society of Medical Officers of Health

  • Association of County Medical Officers of Health
  • Archives and manuscripts

About this work


These records contain material dealing with all aspects of County Medical Officers' work. The broad categories are: minutes, 1902-1907 and 1918-1974; correspondence, 1939-1974; plus a few photographs and miscellaneous items, 1905-1972.

Among the papers are several boxes of records generated by Dr. Ramage's role as Association of County Medical Officers of Health representative on the Public Health and Housing (subsequently Health and Welfare) Committee of the County Councils Association. These consist of minutes and other circulated papers and subject files of correspondence, etc. As these records are not duplicated in the holdings of the Association of County Councils (formerly the County Councils Association) they have been retained as of considerable interest on local government health matters.



Physical description

59 boxes


The collection is arranged into sections as follows:

A Minutes, 1902-1974 [incomplete]

B Miscellaneous items, 1905-1972

C Correspondence, 1939-1973

D County Councils Association: Public Health and Housing/Health and Welfare Committee; circulated papers and correspondence, 1959-1972

Acquisition note

The records are held at the library at Wellcome Collection on deposit. They were received in two main transactions. Firstly, in 1974 an incomplete set of minutes of the Association (which was about to become defunct) was placed in the Wellcome Institute, as it then was, by Dr. P.C. Moore, its Secretary. In October 1980 these minutes were transferred to the recently-formed department handling twentieth-century archives and given the Accession number 72.

Secondly, in 1979 enquiries were made of Dr. G. Ramage (former Secretary) concerning the missing volumes of minutes; this led to the transfer of a quantity of minutes, correspondence, etc, of the Association which had been placed in the Staffordshire Record Office among Dr. Ramage's papers as County Medical Officer (Acc no 25).

Subsequently to these two main accessions, Dr. Ramage sent a few photographs and other items of historical interest to the Library in September 1981 (Acc no 104).

Biographical note

The initial meeting of County Medical Officers of Health took place in Birmingham on 31st October 1902 at the instigation of Dr. Robert Kaye. Periodic meetings were held for several years after this until 1911, when the Conference of County Medical Officers of Health was placed on a more formal basis with the drawing up of a constitution. By then 40 English and 8 Welsh counties were represented, officers and an executive committee were appointed, an annual subscription introduced and three meetings held per year. Dr. Kaye was secretary until 1925 when he became the Association's first president. Subsequent Secretaries were: Dr. Holden, 1925-1934, Dr. Ruddock West, 1934-1954, Dr. G. Ramage, 1954-1972, and Dr. P C Moore, 1972-1974.

In 1945 it was agreed that the Association should also be constituted as the County Medical Officers' Group of the Society of Medical Officers of Health, which it did while retaining its existing identity as an Association, in 1946. Joint General meetings were held until 1956 when separate Group and Association meetings were held and in 1962 separate constitutions for Group and Association were drawn up and approved. There was always a joint Executive Committee.

The Association had representatives and advisors on many other bodies medical and non-medical, including the Society of Medical Officers of Health, the British Medical Association, and the County Councils Association.

The Association was wound up in 1974 as a result of local government reorganisation.

Appraisal note

The existing arrangement of the records has been retained as far as possible, although in some cases it has been necessary to break down files into small units for ease of handling. Notes on certain idiosyncracies of organisation of correspondence appear at the relevant places in the catalogue. Duplicates have been weeded.


The catalogue is available on microfiche via the National Inventory of Documentary Sources (NIDS).

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Accession number

  • 25
  • 72
  • 104