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RAMC profile of:
William Brooke PURDON M.B.
 
 


Place or Date
of Birth:
Donegally Pass, Belfast on 28th November 1881

Service Number:

TF Number:

Rank: Major General

Unit: Army Medical Services

Attached To: 2nd Bn. York and Lancaster Regiment

Enlistment Location:

Also Served: See below

Outcome: Continued to serve in the army after the war

Date Died: 1st December 1950
Age Died:

Where Buried and/or Commemorated:

Awards: DSO; MC; MiDx3

Gazette Reference: 1/1/1917; 18/2/1915; 17/2/1915, 15/6/1916, 4/1/1917
 


Other Information:

William was educated at Royal Belfast Academical Institution; Methodist College, Belfast and Queen’s College, Belfast, qualifying M.B., B.Ch., B.O.A., R.U.I., D.P.H., Belfast in 1913. He enjoyed rugby and first played rugby union as a schoolboy. He then played for Queen’s College, and was representing them when he was selected for the Ireland national team, he was later selected for the Army team. William gained a commission in the Medical Services, with the rank of Lieutenant, on 28th January 1907. He then served in India from 1908 - 1913, gaining promotion to Captain on 28th July 1910. He was in Belfast when war broke out, and entered the war in France in 1914 as Regimental Medical Officer for the 2nd Bn. York & Lancaster Regiment. He remained with them until 1915. William served under the rank of temporary Major from 26th April 1916 - 27th January 1918, and within this time was Commanding Officer of the 19th Field Ambulance - from 1916-1917 and No’s 5, 6, & 16 Convalescent Depots - from 1917-1919. He then gained the rank of Major on 28th January 1919, and went on to serve with No 1 Stationary Hospital. William became a specialist in hygiene in 1919. He served in India from 1923-27, and during this time was awarded the OBE on 1st January 1923. From 1930-34, he served as Assistant Director of Hygiene at the War Office, being promoted to acting Lieutenant Colonel on 30th June 1931 and Brevet Colonel on 1st July 1934. He then served as Assistant Director of Hygiene in Egypt from 1934-35, and was promoted to Colonel on 1st August 1935. From 1935-38, William served as Professor of Hygiene at the Royal Army Medical College, being awarded the Order of St John on 22nd June 1937. He remained at the Royal Army Medical College from 1938-40 serving as Comdt & D of studies and was promoted to Major General on 1st March 1938. He became King’s Honorary Surgeon on 15th April 1938. William also saw active service during World War Two, serving as Director of Medical Services at HQ L of C Area in France from June 1940, and as Deputy Director of Medical Services HQ in the Western Command from 1940-41. On 28th November 1941, he retired with pay. He died in Kensington, London. William was the son of R Purdon; and the wife of Dorothy Myrtle, Daughter of W Coates. [Sources of information: The Medical Officers in the British Army 1660 - 1960; The Distinguished Service Order 1886 - 1923; 1914 Army List and MIC. (Photograph: Belfast Evening Telegraph - courtesy of Nigel Henderson)]


 
 
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