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Biographical entry Sneath, Wilfrid Archer (1888 - 1917)

MC 1916; MRCS July 25th 1912; FRCS Dec 11th 1913; MB ChB Victoria University Manchester 1910.

July 1917
General surgeon


The son of H A Sneath, of Thurlby Bourne, Lincolnshire; went to Thurlby Elementary School and Grantham Technical Institute, and entered the University of Manchester in 1905, being the holder of two scholarships. He won most of the distinctions open to medical students, including the Turner Medical Scholarship, the Bradley Surgical and the Agnew Scholarship for Diseases of Children. For a year he was Demonstrator of Anatomy at the University; he was then House Surgeon at the Manchester Royal Infirmary, next Resident Medical Officer at the Seamen's Hospital, Greenwich, and later began general practice at Ashton-under-Lyne.

At the outbreak of the War in 1914 he at once applied, and was temporarily commissioned Lieutenant RAMC (T) on Sept 11th, 1914. He accompanied a Field Ambulance to France and was stationed at Calais with the Belgian Army until March, 1915. He was attached to the Durham and Welsh Light Infantry, was promoted Captain after one year of service, was mentioned in dispatches in May, 1916, awarded the Military Cross on Sept 22nd, 1916, and received a permanent commission in the RAMC on Jan 11th, 1917. He was transferred to a casualty clearing station, went on short leave to England, and was mortally wounded on the very day of his return to duty. He died of his wounds, as reported in the Casualty List of July 26th, 1917.

His name is on the Roll of Honour and a portrait accompanies the Obituary Notice in the Lancet. His Colonel said, "We all admired him for his bravery and devotion to duty, but loved him for himself." Others testified to his simplicity and singleness of purpose associated with his conspicuous brilliancy as a student and surgeon. This record of a Fellow who made his way up from an elementary school is noteworthy.

The Royal College of Surgeons of England