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Eccles, Horace Dorset

Captain Horace Dorset Eccles, R.A.M.C. who was killed in action in Flanders on the 16th of August last, was an old and loyal Guy’s man. He entered the Medical School in 1888, and obtained his diploma in 1893. After the usual experiences of a newly-fledged doctor without capital, he decided to try his luck in South Africa, where he remained in practice for about three years, He then migrated to New Zealand and established himself in a practice in the North Island. Soon after he had settled there he raised a Company of Mounted Rifles, of which he became Captain. When the Boer War broke out he offered his services to the Colonial Government in either a combatant or medical capacity. Having received a commission in the Medical Staff, he sailed to South Africa with the eighth New Zealand contingent as Surgeon-Captain.

At the end of the Boer War he returned to New Zealand and was promoted to a majority in the New Zealand Medical Service. He resumed his practice and continuing his military service, became in a few years Lieut.- Colonel of his regiment. About three years before the commencement of the present war, finding it impossible to combine the work of his practice with the arduous duties of the command, he felt compelled to retire to the Reserve.

At the outbreak of the present war he at once applied for employment in the New Zealand army. As there was no suitable post vacant, he decided to offer his services to the Home Government. After receiving a very kind and hearty send off from his friends and neighbours, he sailed for home in the summer of 1915. He was then too old to be accepted as a combatant officer, but a captaincy in the R.A.M.C. was offered to him, and finally he was attached to the 13th Royal Irish Rifles, with whom he remained until his death.

In a letter to his father the Colonel of the Battalion wrote: “When I left the dug-out your son, as usual, was doing all he could for the wounded, and was splendid with them. When I got back wounded they told me that he had been killed.

Eccles was of a most kind and lovable nature and will be long remembered with affection by his many friends in the Old Country and in the Colony. He was an all-round sportsman, a good shot, and a keen fly fisherman. While in the Medical School he won the three-mile race on one occasion. Like most sportsmen he was very fond of animals.

Captain Eccles was mentioned in despatches a few weeks before his death. Guy’s Hospital Gazette 1 Dec., 1917

Biographical

Surname(s)Eccles
First name(s)Horace Dorset
Family detailsSon of Gregory William and Anne Hyde Eccles, of 20, Melrose Rd., Southfields, London
CollegeGuy's Hospital
Dates at college1888-1893
Dept / courseMedicine
Military unitIn Boer War with 8th New Zealand Contingent; R.A.M.C. 1914 attached 13th Royal Irish Rifles
War / conflictWorld War One (1914-1918)
Decorations / medalsMentioned in despatches 1917
Date of death16 August 1917
Age at death47
Rank at deathCaptain
Commemoration(s)Guy's Hospital War Memorial
SourcesGuy's Hospital Medical School Records, King's College London Archives; Commonwealth War Graves Commission

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