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WILLIAM TRETHOWAN ROWE


President of the Nottingham Medico-Chirurgical Society


1919 - 1920.


William Trethowan Rowe M.C. :- 36, Regent Street, Nottingham Doctor of Medicine, London (Gold Medal), 1902; Bachelor of Surgery, 1901; Member of the Royal College of Physicians (London) 1910; Member of the Royal College of Surgeons and Licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians (London) 1897; (St. Barthlomews) Physician, Nottingham General Hospital; Physician Ransom Sanatorium. Surgeon-Captain, South Nott's Hussars Yeomanry. Member of the British Medical Association. Ex- Vice President of the Abernethy Society. Formerly:- House Surgeon and External Midwifery Assistant, St. Bartholomews Hospital; Civil Surgeon attached to the R.A.M.C. and the National Field Force 1899-1900; House Surgeon, West London Hospital.


Medical Directory 1919


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William Trethowan Rowe was born on 30th December 1874 at Constantine, Cornwall, and was educated at Chelmsford Grammar School and St. Bartholomew’s Hospital, qualifying with the Conjoint Diploma in 1897. He graduated M.B., B.S. in 1901, and a year later proceeded M.D. and was awarded the gold medal. After two years resident appointments in his teaching hospital and at the West London Hospital he volunteered for service in the Boer War and sailed for South Africa in 1899 as a civil surgeon to the Imperial Forces. He was present at the relief of Mafeking in 1900. He returned to England in 1902, having been awarded the Queen’s Medal for South Africa with four clasps. He then set up in general practice in Nottingham. In 1906 he was elected to the honorary consulting staff of the Nottingham General Hospital, where he remained until his retirement as senior physician in 1946.


In 1905 he joined the South Nottinghamshire Hussars as a surgeon lieutenant. During the first world war he served with the rank of major, first at Gallipoli - where he was awarded the Military Cross and Bar - and afterwards in France. A member of the British Medical Association, he was a representative at the Annual Meeting in 1906, Chairman of the Nottingham Division in 1925-6, in which year he was also honorary secretary of the section of medicine at the Annual Meeting, and in 1927-8 president of the Midland Branch. During the second world war he was appointed group officer in charge of arrangements for the receipt of convoys in Nottingham.


In an obituary to Dr. Rowe by Patrick Henry O’Donovan it was said of him:- Dr. Rowe was a “character.” He had a transparent honesty, and the gift of inspiring in his patients supreme confidence. The nursing staff were devoted to him, and he was kindness itself to the hospital residents, and, because of this, before the second world war a number of his house physicians stayed several years. He was probably the last of that type of practitioner who, although in general practice, also served on the staff of a large general hospital and had a big consulting practice. He had no false pride, and was quick to call for a second opinion from a fellow, and often younger consultant.


He was a well known figure, being driven in a smart, always open, two-seater coupe, wearing a buttonhole supplied daily by a grateful patient. After retiring from the hospital staff he continued in practice in spite of increasing pain and disability from a severely arthritic hip. He was an active Mason, having been initiated in the Nottinghamshire Lodge in 1913. He was a keen golfer, and in 1934 was captain of the Nottinghamshire Golf Club.


B.M.J., 6th January, 1968, page 60


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The war service of Dr. W.T. Rowe M.D., M.R.C.P.


Gazetted Surgeon Lieutenant to the South Nott’s Hussars, 1905. Called up in August, 1914: went east in April, 1915 and to Gallipoli in August, 1915, as Medical Officer to the South Nott’s Hussars, the Sherwood Rangers, and the Derbyshire Yeomanry. Had a warm and very busy time at Suvla Bay, attending to wounded among burning scrub and under heavy fire. was mentioned in dispatches and awarded the Military Cross. Invalided in September, 1915, with paratyphoid. After that home duties, then to a base hospital in France, and finally in February, 1917, officer in charge of a medical division.


Demobilized November, 1918, with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.


Battle of Scimitar Hill. August 21st, 1915.


To make matter worse the scrub caught fire. The Medical Officer of the South Nott’s Hussars, Captain Rowe, remained out in the open helping to rescue the wounded, under heavy shell fire. Captain Rowe’s gallant conduct saved many lives.



October 2nd, 1915.


Captain Rowe, the regimental Medical Officer, was about this time sent to Hospital, much to everyone’s regret, as his cheery words on sick parade did much to keep men going - even more so than his No. 9’s.


Despite the devoted efforts of Captain Rowe, the regiment gradually decreased in number from disease and from casualties in the firing line. But the men of the South Nott’s Hussars stuck it, one and all, and many remained on duty when they were almost too weak to walk, and only left for hospital under compulsion.


On November 3rd they were evacuated. The last march of this remnant of a Regiment, although it was but a two mile walk from the trenches to the beach, was a great effort to many, so weak was their condition, caused by dysentry and want of sleep.


(Extracts from the Historical Records of the South Nottinghamshire Hussars Yeomanry, 1794-1924, pp. 223, 228)


From A History of the General Hospital Near Nottingham,

By Frank H. Jacob. Pages 249, 250.


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