Browse Fellows


www Lives

Biographical entry Goodwin, Sir Thomas Herbert John Chapman (1871 - 1960)

KCB 1919; KCMG 1932; DSO 1898; MRCS 1 August 1892; FRCS by election 10 April 1919; Hon FRCS Ed 1919; Hon DSc Oxon.

24 May 1871
Kandy, Ceylon
29 September 1960
Military surgeon


Born on 24 May 1871, at Kandy, Ceylon, John Goodwin was the eldest son of Surgeon-Major John Goodwin, Army Medical Staff, and Mario Agnes Power, and was educated at Newton College, Devon and at St Mary's Hospital, London where he qualified in 1892. The following year he was commissioned in the Army Medical Service. As a staff surgeon in the Mohmand field force in the North-West Frontier of India, Goodwin was mentioned in dispatches and awarded the DSO for gallantry in the battle of Shabkadar in 1897.

At the outbreak of the First World War Goodwin was in command of No 4 Field Ambulance, which was attached to the Cavalry Division and he took part in the Retreat from Mons. Shortly after this Goodwin was appointed ADMS of the 2nd Cavalry Division, and he was present at the battles of Ypres and took part in the fighting on the Somme. He was three times mentioned in dispatches, was appointed CMG in 1915 and promoted to the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. For a period he was in command of No14 General Hospital at Wimereux.

In 1917 Goodwin became Assistant Director-General of Medical Services and was promoted to the rank of Major-General. He was appointed to accompany Balfour's mission to the United States of America as representative of the Army Medical Department. His tact, urbanity, and knowledge of medical requirements at the Front made a great impression, and he did much to further co-operation between the American and British medical services.

In 1918 Goodwin was appointed Deputy Director-General of the AMS and in the same year he succeeded Sir Alfred Keogh as Director-General and became President of the Army Medical Advisory Board. The same month he was appointed CB for valuable services rendered during the war and was promoted to KCB in 1919.

Goodwin retired from the post of Director-General in 1923, and in 1927 he was appointed Honorary Surgeon to King George V. A new branch of the medical service had come into being during the war, the Army Dental Service, and in January 1928 Goodwin was appointed the first Colonel Commandant.

In 1927 he was appointed Governor of the State of Queensland in succession to Sir Matthew Nathan GCMG. This was a great honour, for only once before had a medical man become the Governor of an Australian State. Goodwin carried out his duties with tact, enthusiasm and zeal and his retirement in 1932 caused widespread regret.

He married in 1897 Lilian Isabel, daughter of James Torrance Ronaldson of Howick Grange, Northumberland who survived him. There were no children. His younger brother Colonel W R P Goodwin, formerly ADG of the Army Medical Service, died in 1958. Goodwin who lived at the Ivy House Hotel, Marlborough in his later years, died on 29 September 1960 at the age of 89.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times 3 October 1960 p 17 d; Brit med J 1960, 2, 1242 with portrait, p 1319 by Sir Henry Bashford FRCP, and p 1529 by Sir Henry Holland CIE; Lancet 1960, 2, 821].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England