Roll of Honour


William Harold Palmer

MB ChB 1917

William Harold Palmer (born 24 Dec 1889) graduated from the University of Glasgow MBChB on 6 April 1917, having been a student since 1912.

Memorial chapel at the University of Glasgow
The Memorial Chapel at the University of Glasgow

Immediately following graduation, he joined the Royal Army Medical Corps, and was deployed to German East Africa in July 1917. His first task was helping with the establishment of a carrier hospital in Mingoyo, then he was entrusted with the establishment of a further hospital in Massasse.

In January 1918 was promoted to the rank of Captain following his excellent work in East Africa. He continued to work as an army surgeon in Africa for most of the War.

His brother Andrew Robert Barrett Palmer attended the University of Glasgow in the session 1913-1914, and also served in the War as a Lieutenant attached to the Indian Army Reserve of Officers, training Indian troops.

After the War Palmer practiced medicine in South Africa, where he raised funds and was responsible for building hospitals, including the hospital in Kensington and the Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto. He was a charitable man, often accepting items such as chickens, shortbread, cakes and ginger beer from patients in lieu of payment, and also raised funds for the poor, both black and white, using his Scottish connections.

Palmer was born in Scotland, grew up in Australia and spent most of his working life in South Africa, where he died.

Comments and Citations

MED5/2/10; CH4/4/2/3/496; Further info submitted by his grandson.