On Call in Africa – in War and Peace 1910-1932
Dr Tony Jewell
This recently published book is based on the memoir of Dr Norman Jewell who having qualified at Trinity College Dublin was appointed to the Colonial Medical Service in Seychelles in 1910. When WW1 was declared he volunteered to join the British Army in East Africa where led the 3rd East African Field Ambulance Unit. His memoir records key challenges he faced which highlight the importance of disease in warfare and the difficulties presented by the terrain, weather and the endemic and epidemic diseases encountered.
Transferred back from the front line to Kenya he was confronted by the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic and he describes how they managed with scarce resources. His work as a District Medical Officer in the Kenya Highlands gives an insight into the distances involved and the risks entailed in home visits! He returned to Dublin in 1919 to obtain his FRCSI and Diploma in Public Health. After narrowly escaping assassination on Bloody Sunday in Dublin in 1920 he returned to Kenya. Having trained in Public Health he contributed to the literature on tropical diseases with contributions on the classification of typhus fevers and published the Handbook of Tropical Fevers in 1932.
The presentation will focus on the public health and medical aspects of the memoir contrasting the challenges of a field ambulance team in harsh conditions and those of a Colonial Medical Officer in peacetime
Dr Tony Jewell FFPH FRCGP, Dr Norman Jewell’s grandson, has been the chief editor – a role he took up when he retired as CMO Wales in 2012.