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Biographical entry Tanner, Charles Edward (1861 - 1934)

MRCS 22 October 1884; FRCS 9 December 1886; MB Durham 1884; MD 1888; JP Surrey.

31 March 1861
12 April 1934
Farnham, Surrey
General surgeon


Born at Tidcombe Manor, Wilts, on 31 March 1861, the third of five sons of John Tanner, yeoman, of Poulton, Marlborough, and Marian Canning, his wife. He was educated at Clifton College from May 1873 to July 1878, at St Bartholomew's Hospital, and at the Durham School of Medicine, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. He served as house physician at the Royal Free Hospital for a year, and passed from there to Durham University, where he graduated after a short visit to Italy. He acted as locum tenens in various practices, and finally settled at Farnham in partnership with James Hussey, MD. Here his good looks, courteous manners, and sound professional knowledge soon gave him a wide and influential practice, carried on by means of a high dog-cart, which was always drawn by a blood mare. Paying a tribute to Dr Tanner, Archbishop Lord Davidson said that the doctor had known successively six bishops. at Farnham Castle, five of them had been his patients and he had known them inside and out. He had mended them in heads and hearts and legs and middles, and in those ways, in ways no one else did, there had sprung up an intimacy of home life, a relationship of affection, such as they entertained for those in the home circle. Such a relationship Dr Tanner also held with the richest and the poorest, with soldiers, lawyers, country gentlemen, and labourers.

He was medical officer for the Farnham Rural District and of the Farnham Infirmary, and was a magistrate. He was, too, founder of the Children's Convalescent Home at Tilford, and acted for many years as chairman of its trustees. He was instrumental in forming the Wey Valley Water Company, was a director of the Farnham Gas and Electricity Company, and was the moving spirit in establishing the Farnham swimming baths. He retired from practice in 1924, and his friends then took the opportunity of making him a presentation "in token of their gratitude and affectionate regard". He married on 7 February 1905 Mary Louise Graham, who survived him with a son and three daughters. He died at his house, Tancred's Ford, Farnham, Surrey on 12 April 1934.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Information given by Mrs Tanner; personal knowledge].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England