Captain Thomas Carnwath

Medical Officer

Dr. Carnwath served as a territorial force officer in the Royal Army Medical Corps from 1912 and was mobilized on the outbreak of war in the summer of 1914. He joined The Honourable Artillery Company as medical officer to the first battalion of one thousand men which reached French soil at St. Nazaire on Sunday, 20th September. Following fierce action at Ypres in June, 1915, Colonel Treffry of the 1st H.A.C. wrote this tribute "During this action no one behaved with more steadfast

courage or showed a greaterdevotion to duty than our Medical Officer, Captain Carnwath. He had his aid post in our original front line and from the time of the first assault when the wounded commenced to come in, in fact even before that time, he was at his post and remained there all through the 16th, all through the night of 16-17th, and all through the 17th, on the latter day searching about for any who might have been overlooked and wanted aid. His unit had been relieved and gone down but he still carried on until no further wounded could be found. This had been the spirit in which Carnwath had worked ever since the Battalion came out and I am sure all ranks of the H.A.C. will agree that no more sympathetic, human or devoted medical officer was ever attached to a unit".

In January, 1916 Dr. Carnwath was transferred to Salonika to set up field medical laboratories because many of the sources of drinking water had been poisoned deliberately. Whilst serving as a captain in General Milne's campaign he became seriously ill from dysentery and other infections, and at one point was given up for dead; he was later sent to Malta to recuperate for six months before returning by sea to London. During his military service Dr. Carnwath was mentioned four times in dispatches and received the D.S.O. at Buckingham Palace on 6th April, 1918. Dr. Carnwath was demobilized on 16th May, 1918 and transferred to the Territorial Force Reserve. Appointment to a T.A. commission in the R.A.M.C. followed on 3rd August, 1920 until he resigned on 28th March, 1922.

Extracted from 'Thomas Carnwath' by J.H. Elwood