Sir Thomas Longmore
A Treatise on Gunshot Wounds, by Thomas Longmore, (1863)
U. S. Army Med.
Longmore was born at Southwark, London, on October roth, 1816, and
on the date of his death, which took place suddenly at Swanageon
October ist. completed, less by a few days, 79 years of age. He was
the eldest son of the late Mr. Thomas Longmore, Surgeon, R. N., and
was educated at Merchant Taylor's School, and at Guy's Hospital. In
due course he became dresser to Mr. Bransby Cooper, and assisted
that Surgeon in private practice and in writing the life of Sir
Astley Cooper. He also arranged and catalogued the Musuem of that
great Surgeon, which afterwards became the property of the Royal
College of Surgeons, of England. ; Sir. Thomas, became M. R. C. S.,
England, in the year 1841, and Fellow in 1856. In the year 1843, 'le
entered the medical department of the army as an Assistant-Surgeon ;
became Surgeon in 1854, Deputy-Inspector-General in 1858. and
Surgeon-General in 1872. His first appointment was to the igth
Regiment to which he was gazetted on the 3rd February. 1843, and
served with it in the Ionian Islands, the West Indies and Canada,
returning to England in 1851. He served throughout the Crimean
Campaign with the igth, in 1854'5s in the Light Division, from its
first taking the field until ihe termination of the siege of
Sebastopol without being absent from duty a single day. He was
present at the affair of Bulgunak, battles of Alma, and Inkerman,
capture of Balaclava, sortie of 20th October, assaults of the Redan
on the i8th June, and 8th September, and received the medal with
three classes, Turkish medal, and was appointed a Knight of the
Legion of Honor. He served in Bengal with the 191)1 Regiment, 1857,
to '59 during the mutiny, and was then promoled Deputy Inspecter
General of Hospitals. After this he returned to England and was
appointed Principal Medical Officer, Colchester. In the year 1860 he
was appointed by Lord Herbert, who was then War Minister, to the new
Army Medical School, Netley, as Professor of Military Surgery, and
in the presence of that Minister, the General Commanding the
District, and other Officers of distinction, he delivered his
opening address. This appointment he held till 1891, when he
In 1864 he represented the British Government in the Geneva
International Congress, and was a member of the Committee that
settled the terms of the International treaty which was formally
adopted on the 22nd August, and which has been since known as the
Convention of Geneva. In 1867 by order of the Secretary of State for
War he took part in the International Conferences of the Societies
for Aid to wounded Soldiers in time of war and was nominated a
Companion of the Military Division of the Most Honorable Order of
* For most of the information in this sketch the writer is indebted
to the Лкп isn Medical Journal.
the Bath, and in the following year he was gazetted Honorary Surgeon
to Her Majesty the Queen. In 1866 the Société Impériale de Chirurgie
de Paris elected him correspondent Etranger. He again represented
the British Government in the year 1869 at a conference in Berlin on
Aid to Sick and Wounded in War. In l872-'73, and again in 1896, he
represented his Government at Vienna and Brussels for the settlement
of International agreement? relating to sick and wounded in war, and
took, in a mixed committee, composed of military and medical
officers an active part in establishing the bearer companies and
most of the existing field hospital arrangements of the British
Army. On five other occasions he represented his Government at
Foreign Congresses, and was elected an associe étranger of the
French Academy of medical and other scientific societies. By decree
of the president of the French Republic, Sir. Thomas, was, in 1879,
promoted to the rank of Officer of the Legion of Honor, the insignia
of which by Royal License he was permitted to wear.
In 1867 he was awarded the C. B. and in 1886, was Knighted by the
Queen at Osborne. In the year after he was Knighted, the military
medical services presented the Army Medical Department with a
portrait of Surgeon General Longmore by George Reid, R. S. A., of
Edinburgh, which adorns the ante-room of the mess-room at Netley.
He married in 1862, Mary Rosalie Helen, daughter of the late Captain
W. S. Moorsom of the 52nd Regiment.
Sir Thomas Longmore has added much to our store of medical
literature. The mere titles of his works and papers would occupy
pages of this journal. His " Synopsis of Cases of Heat Apoplexy ;"
his " Essay on Gunshot "Wounds," (Holmes' System of Surgery)
reprinted in the United States, and formed the text book of the
Surgeons of both Armies in the American Civil War. His "
Observations on the Preliminary Care Necessary for Accidental
Injuries," read at the annual Assembly of St. John of Jerusalem,
1874, was the starting point of the ambulance classes of St. John.
He was also the author of " Antiseptic Surgery in Baltic fields ;"
Life of Ursiman :" " Gunshot Injuries ;" " New Military Weapons and
Explosives," and an immense number of lectures, reports and papers
on every conceivable subject relating to military surgery. His "
Optical Manual" has passed through several editions.
The above short sketch will convey to the readers of this journal
the prominent part which Sir Thomas Longmore took in the profession,
to whom military surgery in particular owes a debt of deep
For many years after retirement, which took place in 1876, Sir
Thomas' life was in constant peril from cardiac failure, which
became more frequent and alarming as time went on, the suffering
always attending them growing more intense. On Monday, September
3oth, whilst in the enjoyment of the fine air of Swanage, the place
above all others most conginal to him, he had an attack of his usual
breast pang at 6-30 am, and although medical aid was immediately
summoned, he became cyanotic and expired a few minutes after 7 A. M.
His loss will be acutely felt by the services in this country, owing
to the great interest he always took in, and his constant thorough
touch with the progress of, military surgery, In the last twenty
five-years he has been the tried and trusted friend not only of all
Netley men, but of the whole of his Department. Truly, a great
military surgeon has passed away.
(The personal edited research
notes of Michael Echols, the source of which may or
may not be completely documented)