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GOWANS, Thomas
  Lieutenant Colonel (Royal Army Medical Corps)
  Survived the war

13-Jan-1886 (SSHS)


Thomas Gowans was the son of Scottish-born South Shields doctor, William Gowans, and his wife, Mary Florence. He was also grandson of Henry Nelson, one-time Mayor of South Shields.

He was one of six sons, all of whom served in the war, but only the youngest three (Thomashimself, Francis Jollie and John Hallibuton) attended the High School.

Thomas actually only attended the High School for 7 months in 1886, and left in August to go St George's College, a private boarding school in Harrogate.

He then moved to Fettes College in Edinburgh, after which he studied medicine and ophthalmology at Edinburgh University. He graduated in 1902 with a degree in medicine and surgery, and was entered on the Medical Register on 4-Aug-1902.

By 1911, Thomas had moved to Newcastle, and he succeeded Colonel John Rutherford as commander of the 1st Northern General Hospital.

When war broke out, the hospital expanded considerably, until it provided some 3,500 beds across Armstrong College, the Infirmary and several other locations.

After the war, Thomas moved to Northallerton, and then back to Harrogate where, from about 1925, he acted as Honorary Ophthalmic Surgeon at the Police Orphanage, St George's House, until his retirement in 1953 - the very place that he had attended as a boy when it was a private school, before its conversion into an orphanage in 1898.

He died at Rillington Manor, Malton, Yorkshire, on 15-Dec-1956.

Known Addresses
1881: 1 Victoria Street
1886: 1 Victoria Terrace
1891: St George's College, Harrogate
1901: Westoe Village
1911: 4 Abbotsford Terrace, Newcastle
Thomas Gowans
Last updated: 09-Aug-2014 09:18

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