Royal Army Medical Corps Muniments Collection
- Royal Army Medical Corps
- 17th century - 20th century
- Archives and manuscripts
- Instructions for the regulation of military hospitals and the sick with divisions of the army in the Peninsula .... bound with manuscript forms for scale of diet, return of medical comforts, report of the arrival of sick, diet abstract, "morning state of General Hospital" (a daily census of patients admitted, discharged, etc.) and bed head ticket (patient's details)RAMC/149
- 'Medical administration in the South African War, being a report of speeches delivered by Sir William Church, President, R.C.P., London, Sir William MacCormac, President, R.C.S., England, and Surgeon General J. Jameson, late Director General, Army Medical Services, at a complimentary dinner given to the latter by the Medical Profession of Great Britain and Ireland, on the 24 July 1901'RAMC/189
- File of material re Arthur Martin Leake's double Victoria Cross, including photocopies of letters from Generals Kitchener, Roberts, etc., recommending Martin-Leake for DSO or Victoria Cross in South Africa in 1902, typescript copies of letters recommending a bar to his Victoria Cross for his conduct in Zonnebeke in 1914, and letter from Messrs. Hancock & Co., suggesting designs for the barRAMC/303
- Photocopy of letter, 24 Dec 1855, from Andrew Smith, Director General, Army Medical Services, to Dr. John Hall, Principal Medical Officer in the Crimea, re the reporting of drawbacks in medical organisation, the need for constant complaint to commanding officers, and the recent changes in the Army Medical DepartmentRAMC/322
- 5 letters from Sir Thomas Longmore to Baron Larrey, President of the French Army Health Council, re the visit of Dr. Wills to Paris, 1863; M. Gaultier de Claubry's interest in the Abyssinian campaign, and trials of ambulance wagons, 1870; Longmore's promotion in the ranks of the Legion of Honour, 1879; the fame of Baron Larrey's father, 1887; and Longmore's election to the Medical Academy of Paris, 1888RAMC/329
- Typescript letter from the private secretary to H.M. Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, to Lieutenant General Sir Alexander Drummond re appointment of Colonel John Watts as Joint Professor of Military Surgery of the RAM College and the Royal College of Surgeons of England, and re Sir Alexander Drummond's tours to strengthen ties between the RAM College and various bodies overseasRAMC/382
- Typescript précis of letters, 1855-1883, from the Florence Nightingale Collection in the Department of Nursing, Columbia University, New York, mainly letters from Nightingale to Surgeon General Thomas Alexander, re the Commission enquiring into the medical organisation of the Crimean War, the design of the Royal Victoria Hospital at Netley, the organisation of Fort Pitt Military Hospital, and diets for Field HospitalsRAMC/454
- Ms. quarterly medical reports prepared illegally by the Senior Medical Officer, Lieutenant Colonel W.G. Harvey, for the Camp Commandant, Lieutenant Colonel A.E. Knights, of the Japanese Prisoner of War camp at Tamuang, Thailand, from the camp's inception on 4 May 1944 until the transfer of the camp to Pratchai, May-June 1945RAMC/496
- Album of photograph and souvenirs, produced for the testimonial banquet to Henry Morton Stanley for "heroic achievements in the cause of humanity, science and civilization", containing photographs of Stanley, Lieutenant W.G. Stairs, Surgeon Thomas H. Parke, Captain R.H. Nelson and Mr. A.J. Mounteney-JephsonRAMC/497
- Typescript copies of 49 letters, 1808-1824, to his parents, brother and cousin from Surgeon William Dent, re his training in London and at Colchester Barracks, and service with the 89th Regiment during the Peninsular War, 1810-1814, in Canada, 1814, with the army of occupation in France, 1815-1818, and in the West Indies, 1819-1824RAMC/536
- Typescript of "Las transfusiones de plasma o suero animal desanafilactizado en el tratamiento de la anemia aguda post-hemorragica, shock traumatico, hipoproteinemias y toxicosis del lactante", by Jose Maria Massons of the Pharmacological Section of the Medical Research Institute of Barcelona UniversityRAMC/615
- "A doctor goes to war": typescript copy of the diary, Jan 1940-June 1945, of Colonel J.R. McDonald, RAMC, commanding the 2nd (1st Northern) Territorial Casualty Clearing Station in the British Expeditionary Force to France, 1940; at the emergency military hospital at Charlton Park, Malmesbury, Wiltshire; and at 19th General Hospital in Fayid, Egypt, 1942-1945RAMC/944
- Regulations for the duties of Inspectors-General and Deputy Inspectors-General of Hospitals; for the duties of staff and regimental medical officers: for the organization of general, regimental, and field hospitals; and for the duties of officers, attendants, and nurses: for sanitary measures, and precautions for preserving health of the troops; for the duties of sanitary officers attached to armies; and for drawing up sanitary and medical statistics and reportsRAMC/1160
- Typescript report by Major-General W.J. Officer, Deputy Director of Medical Services, 2 Corps, to the Director General, Army Medical Services, on Operation Musketeer, 6 Aug-22 Dec 1956, the invasion of Egypt following the nationalisation of the Suez Canal and the invasion of Sinai by IsraelRAMC/1187
- Typescript copy of the war diary of Captain John Hare, RAMC, Medical Officer to the 1st Battalion, Royal Fusiliers, 17th Infantry Brigade, 6th Division, in the British Expeditionary Force to France, Sept to Dec 1914; and to Sir Ian Hamilton and his staff in the Dardanelles, March to Oct 1915RAMC/1327
- Visitors book, originally of the Luftwaffe Hospital in Wismar in northern Germany 1939-1945, which was taken over in May 1945 by 224 Parachute Field Ambulance and later administered by 164 Field Ambulance, 5th Infantry Division; and then of the Officers Mess of the RAMC Depot and Training Establishment at Crookham, Hampshire, 1949-1973RAMC/1383
- The V.C. and D.S.O.: a complete record of all those officers, non-commissioned officers and men of His Majesty's Naval, Military and Air Forces who have been awarded these decorations from the time of their institution, with descriptions of the deeds and services which won the distinctions and with many biographical and other details. Vol. 3. Edited by Sir O'Moore Creagh and E. M. HumphrisRAMC/1459
- Copies of paintings and photographs of participants in the discovery of the cause of and cure for Brucellosis: Surgeon Captain David Bruce, Assistant Surgeon Jeffrey Allen Marston, Surgeon Captain F. Smith, Surgeon Major H. Veale, Professor Almroth Edward Wright, Surgeon Captain Matthew Louis Hughes, Captain James Crawford Kennedy, Major W. H. Horrocks and Surgeon Major D. SempleRAMC/1656
- Text of the welcoming address of Sir Norman Talbot, Director General, Army Medical Services, to Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother (widow of George VI), Commander in Chief, RAMC on the occasion of the ceremony of laying the foundation stone of the Queen Elizabeth Military Hospital at Woolwich on 9 November 1972RAMC/2000
Where to find it
About this work
Reports, diaries, memoirs, photographs and memorabilia given to the RAMC Museum and Library by former officers and men of the Corps. Some date back to Marlborough's campaigns of the late 17th century; there is also material relating to the continuing European and Imperial conflicts of the 18th and early 19th centuries, the Crimean War (1854-1856), the Boer War and the Balkan conflicts of the early 20th century, the two World Wars, the Korean War and other smaller conflicts thereafter.
Part of the RAMC collection has been returned to the Army Medical Services Museum. In 2016 it changed its name to the Museum of Military Medicine. Please see individual items for further information.
The RAMC Muniments Collection is deposited with the Wellcome Library under an agreement between the Wellcome Trustees and the Trustees of the RAMC Historical Museum in 1991. This agreement also covered the pre-1850 Collection of books of historical value and the Collection of post-1850 medical textbooks, also placed in the Wellcome Library.
In the 1980s the Trustees of the RAMC Historical Museum entered into negotiations with Dr Peter Williams, then Director of the Wellcome Trust, about the possible housing and cataloguing of the collections. This culminated in the transfer of book and muniments collections to the Wellcome Tropical Institute (owned by the Trust) in 1986-7.
When the muniments collection first came to the Wellcome Trust it was intended that only items of tropical medical interest would be catalogued and retained by the Wellcome Tropical Institute. In order to discover exactly what was in the collection a detailed description based on the existing accession order was started. It became clear that extracting items on the basis of tropical or medical interest was impracticable and undesirable since it would break up coherent groups of material. For the same reason it was deemed unacceptable to split collections by removing items which were in fact strayed public records and which ought strictly to have gone to the Public Record Office. With the agreement of the PRO it has been possible to retain such material in the Muniments Collection.
With the closure of the Tropical Institute in 1989 the RAMC material entered the archive collection of the Wellcome Library.
Some archives proper of the College and Fort Pitt Hospital were kept in the RAMC Library and were transferred to the Wellcome Trust with the Muniments Collection: they have never been accessioned with Muniment material and remain uncatalogued.
The publications listed in the hard-copy RAMC Muniments Collection catalogue as Appendix E were returned on 24 November 2003 to the Army Medical Services Museum, Keogh Barracks, Ash Vale, Aldershot, GU12 5RQ. In 2016 it changed its name to the Museum of Military Medicine.
A chronology setting out key events in the history of the RAMC and of these papers follows:
1810 Dr James McGrigor started collection of morbid anatomy specimens at Hilsea, Portsmouth
1816 Specimen collection transferred to York Hospital, Chelsea. Library of Army Medical Department founded by McGrigor. (The library was private, belonging to the medical officers who contributed to it by subscription and gift)
1822 Library annexed to Museum
1860 Army Medical School founded at Fort Pitt, Chatham, on recommendation of Royal Sanitary Commission (1858). Library and specimen collection moved here: latter became basis of pathological teaching collection. Accruals continued and it became the Pathology Museum. The Muniment Collection contains catalogues of the Pathology Museum at Fort Pitt (ref 277) and the Necrology and Pathology registers of the hospitals at Fort Pitt and Netley (ref 281-284).
1863 Royal Victoria Hospital opened in Netley, Southampton, and Army Medical School moved there with the Pathology Museum and Library
1898 Existing Army Hospital Corps and Medical Staff Corps merge and Royal Army Medical Corps founded
1907 Royal Army Medical College founded at Millbank to replace the Army Medical School
1927 Library moved from Royal Victoria Hospital to Millbank
1930s A historical museum in existence at Millbank: origins unknown (See catalogue in collection, ref 616)
1939-45 Pathology/teaching museum dismantled and evacuated: much destroyed
1950 Historical Museum Committee established. Museum to be reconstructed, not as morbid anatomy/teaching establishment, but as a regimental museum illustrating history and tradition of RAMC
1952 RAMC Historical Museum established at Queen Elizabeth Barracks, Crookham, Hants, and Muniment Room established next to Library at Royal Army Medical College, Millbank
1984 Muniment Collection removed to RAMC Historical Museum at Keogh Barracks, Mytchett, Surrey, because of storage pressure at Millbank
1986 Collections of printed books moved from Millbank to Wellcome Trust
1987 Muniment Collection transferred from Keogh Barracks to Wellcome Trust
1991 Formal agreement to place collections on permanent loan with the Wellcome Trust
At the Wellcome Library:
Diaries and other personal records of army personnel can be found in various collections; most notably the papers of Sir David Bruce, RAMC, which are part of WTI/RST, and of Sir Leonard Rogers, IMS, ref. PP/ROG.
At other repositories:
Administrative records of the RAMC and its component units and predecessor bodies are public records and are kept in the National Archives when no longer administratively useful. They include war diaries of individual units; three copies are made of each of these, and those in the RAMC Collection are the duplicates kept by the commanding officer.
Personnel records of soldiers serving in the RAMC are kept at the Medical Services Record Office in Chester and are sent on discharge to the Army Record Centre, Bourne Avenue, Hayes, Middlesex. Officers' records are kept at the Regimental Headquarters at Keogh Barracks, Ash Vale, Hampshire, and are passed when no longer current to the Army Officer Documentation Office, Government Buildings, Stanmore, Middlesex. Pre-1914 records are in the National Archives.
Many First World War personnel records were destroyed during the Second World War, and access to those that survive is restricted: information will be given only on receipt of written permission of the individual concerned, or, if he is dead, to the legal next-of-kin on production of documentary evidence of the death and of the relationship.
Other institutions which hold private diaries and unpublished memoirs, etc, include the Imperial War Museum and the Liddell Hart Centre for Military Archives at King's College, London.
Published sources are listed in A guide to the sources of British military history (ed. Robin Higham), published by the University of California Press in 1971, which contains a chapter on military medicine by FNL Poynter. A particularly useful review of the organisation of medical services in the British Army can be found in Colonel William Johnston's Roll of Commissioned Officers ...1727 to 1898, reprinted in Drew's Commissioned Officers in the Medical Services of the British Army 1660-1960, published by the Wellcome Library in 1968. Sir Neil Cantlie wrote a History of the Army Medical Department (Churchill Livingstone, 1974), and the World Wars of the 20th century are well covered in the official histories published by HMSO.
The PRO publishes information sheets explaining the departmental responsibility for army departments and under what references the records might be found. These include No.6 'Operational records of the British army in the First World War', No.7 'Operational records of the British army during the Second World War' No. 61 'Operational records of the British Army, 1660-1914' and No.120 'Military nursing and nursing services'. There are also information sheets and fact sheets on army records as sources for biographical and genealogical research (Information sheet No 59, Family fact sheets Nos.2 and 3).
Further details of sources for genealogical research can be found in chapter IV of Jane Cox and Timothy Padfield Tracing your ancestors in the National Archives (3rd ed., HMSO, 1984). Drew's Roll of Commissioned Officers (see above) does not include officers on temporary commissions, but all medical officers are qualified doctors and are therefore recorded on the Medical Register (from 1859) and usually in the Medical Directory (from 1845).
During cataloguing, any correspondence of relevance to the individual accessions which was found with it has been transferred to separate files and is now held with files relating to the administration of the RAMC Muniment Collection in the Archives and Manuscripts Department of the Wellcome Library.
For conservation reasons, publications originally held in the Muniment Collection were extracted and shelved separately; descriptions can be found on the Wellcome Library's computer catalogue of published material.
- Anti-Bacterial Agents
- Blood Transfusion
- Medical Records
- Delivery of Health care
- Education, Medical
- Students, Medical
- First Aid
- History of Medicine
- Hospitals, Military
- Health Services Administration
- Military medicine
- Nuclear energy
- Ophthalmologic Surgical Procedures
- Tropical Medicine
- Trypanosomiasis, African
- World War I
- World War II
- Women in medicine
- Sexually Transmitted Diseases
- Disabled persons
- Health education
- Occupational Health
- Community Health Nursing
- Thoracic Diseases
- Health Promotion
- Crimean War, 1853-1856
- South African War, 1899-1902