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Edmond, John Adamson

To the already long Roll of Honour of Guy’s men one has reluctantly to add another well-known and familiar name, that of John Adamson Edmond. Born on May 20th, 1887, he was the younger son of J. A. Edmond, Esq., late of the Civil Service.

He was educated at a preparatory school and the City of London School, and entered Guy’s in October, 1905, passing his Second M.B. in January, 1908. In the Dissecting Room he at once obtained for himself the reputation which followed him through the wards, that of a hardworking and conscientious student, never showing signs of any real brilliancy, but rather of soundness and consistency. After his ward appointments he became Clinical Assistant to Sir Cooper Perry and Dr. Shaw in 1910, and in the same year he qualified in Conjoint. The following year he held various resident appointments, first as A.H.S. to Mr. Turner, then Out-Patient Officer, and finally House Surgeon to Sir Alfred Fripp. In 1913 he obtained his M.B., B.S., and was appointed Anæsthetist to the Hospital in January, 1916, having previously been Resident Medical Officer in Bright.

One can only insert a letter, a token of sympathy, written by one of his late dressers, J.A.R. to show his popularity among his contemporaries:- “It was with very deep sorrow that I read in the Times of Friday, December 14th, of the death in action of Capt. J. A. Edmond. In his going Guy’s has lost one of its very best, and we who had the good fortune to be his colleagues will not easily forget him. I was a dresser on his “firm” while he held the appointment of H.S., and both then and afterwards learned to appreciate him as a teacher, friend, and a man. I shall always look back upon him as the very best type of resident, he was so keen on his routine work and on surgery generally, and wonderfully careful and conscientious always, and about his conscientiousness there was something encouraging, infectious almost, for those who worked with him. With all of his dressers he was most popular and he was the chief of a thoroughly happy firm. I got to know him still more intimately later and my appreciation continually grew.

“As a companion on long country walks he was at his best, and he was as enthusiastic and thorough in all his recreations as in his work. He was wonderfully kind and unselfish and his honesty and strength of character had no equals. ‘Jacko’ Edmond he was known as among his immediate contemporaries, and the possession of the nick-name in itself was a mark of his popularity. The Residents’ Table owes much of its spirit and good humour to him at the time of his appointments, but it mattered not whether among fellow-residents, dressers, nurses, or patients. I fancy there will be nothing but wistful recollections of his kindness. He was of a different disposition, but of the same honest, lovable kind of character as Seabrooke, another man who made, without any effort of his own, a reputation of kindliness among us all, and both will always be remembered as men of the finest type.

“Those of us who knew his wife also must feel, for her sake the greatness of the loss. One longs so much to pay some kind of tribute and to show something of the sympathy one feels in these days of sorrow and it seemed to me that your columns afforded the best opportunity of placing on record a personal expression, however insufficient, of the much that one feels concerning the death of a brave and good colleague and friend”

In 1915 he entered into partnership with Robert and the late Arthur Tilbury, R.A.M.C. He had only a short period of private practice, but he was fast making himself a favourite on account of his personality and his powers as a general practitioner. In May, 1916, he was given a commission in the R.A.M.C., and served first on an ambulance train in France. He was then transferred to a Field Ambulance with which he remained until the time of his death. His work in France can be best appreciated by the following letter received from his C.O.:-

“Captain Edmond died doing his duty most gallantly. He was in charge of an advanced post. About 5 a.m. on November 30th he noticed that gas shells were being sent over and at once gave the alarm, thereby preventing casualties amongst his bearers. He remained at his post dressing the wounded until the enemy were within a few hundred yards; he then withdrew his bearers, and finding a man very seriously wounded on the road, he ran back towards the enemy to get a stretcher and blanket for the wounded man, being under very heavy machine gun and rifle fire from the advancing infantry and from aeroplanes. With the help of Private Barker, R.A.M.C., he carried the wounded man six thousand yards to a loading post, remaining there until this man was safely got away in an ambulance having dressed a number of other severely wounded men on his way there and also at the loading post.

“Hearing that there were many casualties in the neighbourhood he proceeded there through a very heavily shelled area and attended many of his severely wounded men. It appears that at a time when the shelling in the neighbourhood was very severe, and when all other troops were confined to their dugouts, he went from his own to the Hospital dugout to attend to a wounded man and was struck by a fragment of shell in the heart and killed instantly. Capt. Edmond during his 14 months service with this unit showed a fine example of devotion and energy to his duty, and gallantry on many occasions. We shall miss hs cheerful courage and assistance, his hard work and sound judgement too.”

We offer our heartfelt sympathy to his wife (Sister Tilbury, late Sister Cornelius) and his small daughter on the great loss they have sustained. Guy’s Hospital Reports Vol.LXX, War Memorial Number; and Guy’s Hospital Gazette 12 Jan, 1918


First name(s)John Adamson
Date of birth20 May 1887
Family detailsSon of John Adamson Edmond and Margaret Phillips Edmond, of London; husband of Anna Edmond, of 34, Delaware Mansions, Maida Vale, London
Previous educationCity of London School
CollegeGuy's Hospital
Dates at college1905-1910
Dept / courseM.B. London
QualificationsSecond M.B. Jan. 1908; M.B., B.S. 1913
Military unitR.A.M.C. attd. 60th Field Ambulance
Date enlistedMay 1916
War / conflictWorld War One (1914-1918)
Date of death30 November 1917
Age at death30
Rank at deathCaptain
Cause of deathKilled while attending to wounded under heavy shell fire at an advanced Dressing Station
Commemoration(s)Guy's Hospital Memorial; Cambrai Memorial, Louverval
SourcesGuy's Hospital Medical School Records, King's College London Archives; Commonwealth War Graves Commission

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