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Biographical entry Moorshead, Robert Fletcher (1874 - 1934)

MRCS 11 May 1899; FRCS 11 June 1903; MB BS Durham 1898; LRCP 1899.

4 December 1934
Sutton, Surrey
Missionary surgeon


Born at Bristol 1874, he was educated at the Bristol School of Medicine and at St Bartholomew's Hospital. He acted for a time as clinical assistant at the Hospital for Diseases of the Throat, Golden Square, but never intended to practise privately. His whole heart lay in the mission field. He was an early student volunteer of the mission, but his desire to serve in China was prevented by the death of his father in 1902. He set to work, therefore, in the home field and in 1902, conjointly with Dr Percy Lush and Sir Alfred Pearce Gould, helped to found the medical mission auxiliary of the Baptist Missionary Society. He became its secretary and the rest of his life was spent in promoting its interests. At the time of his death the Society was supporting sixteen hospitals in India, China, and Africa with a staff of thirty European and eleven native qualified doctors, assisted by thirty-four European nurses and two hundred and thirty-four native hospital assistants and nurses. He visited India on behalf of the Society in 1905, and China in 1916. He took a notable part during his visit to China in founding the Cheeloo University at Shantung. He married in 1909 Gertrude Winchester, who survived him. He died of double pneumonia on 4 December 1934 at Fairfield, Cornwall Road, Sutton, Surrey.


The appeal of medical missions, with introduction by Sir Andrew Fraser. Edinburgh, 1913.
The way of the doctor, a study in medical missions, with a foreword by Sir Leonard Rogers. London, 1926.
Heal the sick: the story of the medical mission auxiliary of the Baptist Missionary Society. London, 1929.
Editor of Conquest by healing, a monthly journal, 1924-34.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times, 6 December 1934, p 19e; Lancet, 1934, 2, 1372; Brit med J 1934, 2, 1130 and 1182].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England Library