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RAMC profile of:
Edwin Thomas Fairweather BIRRELL M.B.

Place or Date
of Birth:
Penicuick, Midlothian on the 28th February 1874

Service Number:

TF Number:

Rank: Lt/Col

Unit: D.A.D.M.S.- Cavalry Division

Attached To:

Enlistment Location:

Also Served: Various - see below

Outcome: Survived the war

Date Died:
Age Died:

Where Buried and/or Commemorated:

Awards: MiDx6

Gazette Reference: 20/10/1914, 22/6/1915, 1/1/1916, 25/9/1916, 6/12/1916, 28/11/1917

Other Information:

Edwin was educated at Trinity College, Glenalmond, and at Edinburgh University, qualifying M.B., C.M. in 1895. He joined the Medical Services at the rank of Lieutenant on 29th July 1896, then gained promotion to Captain on 29th July 1899 and Major on 29th July 1907. On 18th August 1908 he took up the role of Deputy Assistant Director of Medical Services, and served as commissioner with the British Red Cross Society in Balkan War 1912 - 1913. When war was declared Edwin was in London. He entered the war in France on 10th August 1914, with the Headquarters of Divisional Formation, as Deputy Assistant Director of Medical Services for the Cavalry Division. During the Retreat from Mons, the Cavalry Field Ambulances became separated into 2 groups. Edwin went into Le Cateau with “A” Section of No 3 Cavalry Field Ambulance, who immediately opened a dressing station in a girl’s school in the centre of the square, and worked throughout the night of the 25th/26th August, before hurriedly leaving that morning just as German troops were entering the town. During the remaining days of the retreat, “A” Section of No 3 Cavalry Field Ambulance, along with No 2 Cavalry Field Ambulance, marched with the 3rd Cavalry Brigade Ammunition Column to Vilbert, where the brigade bivouacked on the 5th September. Edwin remained with the column throughout the retreat. On 28th September 1914, he was transferred from the 1st Cavalry Division Headquarters to come A.D.M.S. on Surgeon-General Woodhouse’s staff. At the end of December 1914, the whole of the administrative medical services was reorganized, resulting in Edwin becoming A.D.M.S. for personnel at G.H.Q. He remained there until November 1915, when he left the D.G.’s staff to join the administrative medical staff of the Salonika Force as A.D.M.S. During this time, on 1st March 1915, Edwin gained promotion to Lieutenant Colonel. Also in 1915, he became awarded Companion Order of St Michael & St George. In 1917, He became a Companion of the Order of the Bath; was awarded the Serbian Order of the White Eagle (4 Class); and gained promotion to the rank of Colonel. In January 1918, Edwin, who had been A.D.M.S. at G.H.Q. since his arrival, became D.D.M.S. of the XVIth Corps, following Colonel F Smith retiring. Shortly before British troops were withdrawn from Trans-Caucasia and the Caucasus in September 1919, a British Miliary Mission took place with General Denikin’s Army in South Russia, based on Novorossisk, on the Black Sea. On 6th March 1919, Edwin joined the Mission, as D.D.M.S. and remained with it up until the 11th October.

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