Surgeons of the Royal Navy in the First World War



The surgeons of the Royal Navy played a crucial role in making it the effective fighting force that it proved to be during the First World War. Yet their contribution has sometimes been overlooked as historians concentrated on the men who commanded fleets or individual ships, manned the guns or served ashore with the Royal Naval Division.

Simon Jonathan Eyre has rectified this with his monumental 772 page work on naval surgeons and surgeon probationers. Every aspect of their service is examined — he looks at the different types of surgeons, their ranks and qualifications, naval hospitals and hospital ships, the casualties they suffered, and the decorations and medals that they received. At its heart is a massive nominal roll of every RN and RNVR surgeon who served during the First World War. This is a truly impressive piece of research.