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Biographical entry Taylor, John Robert (1810 - 1892)

CB 1856; MRCS Oct 19th 1832; FRCS Aug 7th 1856.

14 October 1810
23 December 1892
General surgeon


Born on Oct 14th, 1810, the son of an Army Surgeon who died in the service at Gibraltar in 1812. He followed in his father's footsteps, entering the Army Medical Service in the reign of William IV, first as Assistant Staff Surgeon on May 31st, 1833, and on Aug 2nd, 1883, as Assistant Surgeon to the 58th Regiment.

He went to Canada in 1838, when the wounded after the fight at Point-au-Pelée were placed in his charge. He served at Chambly up to 1839 with the 1st Dragoon Guards and 15th Regiment during the Canadian Rebellion. On June 14th, 1842, he joined in India the 29th Regiment of Foot as Surgeon, and went through the Sutlej Campaign in 1845-1846, which included Ferozeshah and Sobraon, battles in which his regiment lost nearly one in four of the officers and men. Exchanging on July 7th, 1848, into the 80th Regiment of Foot, he went through the Burmah Campaign, including the affairs of Martaban, Rangoon, and the captures of the Great Dragon Pagoda and of Prome. Gazetted Staff Surgeon (1st Class) on March 3rd, 1854, he was appointed Principal Medical Officer at Chatham. In March, 1855, he was ordered to the Crimea, and joined the third division of the Army commanded by Lord Raglan. With this division he was present at the assault of June 18th, and in the taking of Sebastopol on Sept 8th. On Feb 1st, 1855, he was gazetted Deputy Inspector-General.

It was for this war that he continued the scheme of systematic classification and tabulation of gunshot wounds occurring in the field, which he had initiated in the Sutlej Campaign and completed for the Crimean War in a form later adopted in Army Returns.

Made a Companion of the Bath in 1856, he was gazetted Inspector-General of Hospitals on Dec 31st, 1858, and on his return to England in 1859 was appointed one of the Honorary Surgeons to the Queen. Until 1861 he was Principal Medical Officer at Fort Pitt, Chatham, and then proceeded in the same capacity to the Cape of Good Hope, where he was commissioned to inquire into and report on the Government scheme for the establishment of a sanatorium there. He reported against the scheme, and in 1862 returned to England and received the appointment of Principal Medical Officer at Aldershot, which he retained till he retired on Aug 11th, 1863, being them awarded a good service pension from the grant for distinguished and meritorious services. He lived long in retirement, and died at Cheltenham on Dec 23rd, 1892.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Johnston's RAMC Roll, No 4343].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England