The Rugby Club Doctors

Written and researched by David Bohl, with the kind help and documents supplied by World War 1 historians worldwide.

On either side of the Great War of 1914-18 the rugby club was graced by a number of the medical fraternity, a blend of honorary and playing members complimenting the established teaching profession.



Dr Jaffir Rumjahn


Sefton 1XV 1912-13
Clubmoor CC
   Hall Marked Gold Medal 1929


First played for the Aliens on 19th November 1910


The Aliens had an attractive tit-bit for their supporters at Clubmoor on Saturday, when they entertained the Yorkshire Cup semi-finalists. Unfortunately, Barnsley were minus several of their regular men, and the Aliens very sportingly lent them a couple to enable them to put a full team in the field.

In the opening half the home team had the greater portion of the attack, but failed at the critical moments, when a cool head would have been invaluable. Their forwards on many occasions made much ground, but as a rule an ill-directed pass or a knock-on brought the movements to an untimely end. Yet they did most of the attacking for their side, and it was the forwards who initiated the movements which resulted in the scoring of their two tries-Bob Jones getting one in each half. The Barnsley forwards were a lusty lot, and played the typical kick-and-rush game in menacing style, although they were not so progressive as their opponents. Kell, at full-back for the visitors played a capital game, and his defence was always sound. Harris and Dickinson were a pair of hard-working forwards. Huggard, however, was the best man on the side, his fielding under extreme difficulties being excellent. Rumjahn was again at back for the Aliens; he fields well and kicks with judgement. Croxford was the best three-quarter on view, and Bayliss and Ellis are a serviceable pair of halves. Forward, Jones, although a little unorthodox perhaps, was easily the best of the home vanguard.

At the interval Aliens deservedly led by a try to nil, scored by Bob Jones after a prolonged spell of attacking by the home team. The second half was pretty even, and Barnsley were lucky to score from a try which to all appearances was offside. Kell scored again for the visitors and converted his own try. Jones again got through for the Aliens and the Rev. J. Nesbitt counted for Barnsley. On the whole, however, the home team were distinctly unlucky to lose, the result being:

Barnsley 11 pts, Aliens 6 pts. The Rev. Mr. Huggard, chairman of the Yorkshire Union, officiated as referee.

Post 31/3/1913

Aliens Vice-President August 31st 1920

West Derby Hockey Club

Jaffir was born in Hong Kong on the 8th September 1887 and at aged 14 was sent by his father from Hong Kong to be educated at Liverpool Institute with the express wish that eventually he studied either law or medicine. He qualified as a Doctor at Liverpool University where he was awarded his Blues in a number of sports, having held all kinds of sporting records at the Liverpool Institute, as did his three sons Peter Usuf, Edward Jaffir and Ronald Madar - all of whom were English Internationals at table tennis and County players at hockey. Jaffir played hockey for West Derby where the pitch was next to Sefton (now Harbern Close.) and cricket for Clubmoor CC.

Hockey 1939
Tributes 1939

At first he lived at "The Bingle", in Mill Lane (where Holly Lodge netball courts are now) when it was sequestered by the Army, as it had a tower for a lookout. It was hit by a stray bomb in WW2 and had to be demolished. Dr Rumjahn then had his GP practice at 77 Queen's Drive Walton, by Rice Lane flyover and on retirement moved to Huyton. He also had a practice in Roby where the Table Tennis room also served as the Doctor's waiting room! He was GP to our founder member Fred Applebee and his family from Twig Lane, Roby.



'The Bingle' in 1940 after the stray bomb

[Many thanks to his granddaughter Jan Davies (nee Rumjahn) for the information]

High Commissioner for India 1942

Dr Jaffir Rumjahn M.D.



Dr William Howel Evans

Played 1911-14

Elected 25th November 1921

Became Vice-President 13th August 1924


[The Journal of Pathology and BacteriologyVolume 50, Issue 1, pages 177–182, January 1940]



Liverpool Echo 27th October 1911

Aliens 2nd at Clubmoor. This match was remarkable for prolific scoring. The visitors started one short and the homesters pressed their advantage to such good purpose that when half time arrived they led by 32-0. The chief scorer was Helme, who scored five tries of which Flint converted one and Evans two. Half Time 4g 5t




HMS Cornflower was built by Barclay Curle on the Clyde and launched 30th March 1916. She was lost on 19th December 1941 in an air raid at the fall of Hong Kong.

HMS Cornflower


Dr William Howel Evans M.D.



Dr W.H.Broad

Vice-President August 31st 1920 - 1924


William Henry Broad was born around 1875 in Manchester. After graduating in Liverpool in 1900 he worked in several local hospitals including the Royal Infirmary and became Lecturer in Physical Anthropology at the University of Liverpool.

He played in several games including Lancashire Trials.

Manchester Courier  19th October 1906 Lancashire Post 27th March 1908


During WW1 he rose to the rank of Temp. Major in the Royal Army Medical Corps.

After the war he worked at Alder Hey Hospital and pioneered the treatment of badly injured soldiers with prosthetic limbs and individually tailored physiotherapy regimes.

An Aboriginal skull obtained and studied by Dr Broad was sold shortly before his death in 1948. It was kept in Liverpool Archives and a few years ago was handed back to the Ngarrindjeri people so that its spirit could continue to the Dreamtime.




9th December, 1912. The President occupied the chair. On the recommendation of the Council, the Rev. John Sephton, M.A., was unanimously elected an Honorary Member of the Society in recognition of his services, and the long period (46 years) that he had been a member of the Society. The President announced with regret the death of Mr. Joseph Gardner, J.P., a member of the Society. The evening was devoted to short communications. Dr. W. H. Broad giving an interesting account of the difference between the skulls of the lowest type of man and the highest form of ape, and referring to the recent discovery in Sussex of a female skull of very exceptional antiquity.

24th November, 1913. The President (Rev. Dr. Hicks) occupied the chair. Miss Dora McKae Window was duly elected a member, and introduced by the President to the meeting. Dr. William H. Broad, M.D., B.S., Lecturer on Physical Anthropology, University of Liverpool, then read a paper entitled "Pre-historic Man, in the light of recent Discoveries," illustrating this important subject by a number of casts of skulls, as well as drawings and diagrams.




Becomes Councillor in 1915


In October, 1917, as a result of the collaboration of Captain W.H. Broad, R.A.M.C. (T.F.), officer in charge of the Massage and Physical Education Departments, and Mr. J.D. Danson, technical instructor in charge of the Curative Workships, a temporary artificial leg was designed. This leg, known as the "Broad-Danson Pylon," had for its objects:- 1. The provision of a light support to enable the patient to dispense with crutches as early as possible, thereby obviating the danger of crutch paralysis. 2. To assist in the shrinkage of the stump. 3. To provide a light bucket capable of being repacked or remoulded at a nominal cost to compensate for the shrinkage of stump. The approval of Major-General Sir Robert Jones, C.B., inspector of Special Military Hospitals, having been obtained, the patients were trained in the making of these limbs. From October, 1917, to November, 1918, 442 of these fittings were made, when, owing to a great demand for same, it was found necessary to make other arrangements. The British Red Cross Society, The Order of St. John of Jerusalem in England, and the Ministry of Pensions arranged for a supply of provisional limbs at various depots throughout the country. The depot at Alder Hey was placed in charge of a provisional limbs committee, which consist of the following gentlemen: Lieut.-Colonel MacDiarmid, O.B.E., R.A.M.C., officer commanding Alder Hey; Capt. A.P. Hope Simpson, officer in charge Curative Workshop; H.C.R. Sievwright, Esq.; the late G.H. Corbett-Lowe, hon. secretary, Liverpool Branch, B.R.C.S.; and Capt. H.P. Mounsey, auditor. In November, 1918, a number of Red Cross workers were engaged, and under the supervision of Mr. J.D. Danson, their training in the manufacture of provisional limbs was commenced, and up to the present 782 fittings have been produced, making a total of fittings supplied to limbless men of 1,224. In addition to the provision of pylons, special feet and chapart fittings are supplied at this depot. Much of the success of the work carried out by this committee was due to the untiring efforts of the late Mr. G.H. Corbett-Lowe, and his assistance and advice will be greatly missed by the members of the committee. The depot is represented on the Headquarters Committee Provisional Limbs Department, 83, Pall Mall, London, by Lieut.-Colonel MacDiarmid, whose interest in the work is very keen.



Alder Hey Hospital Orthopaedic Hospital

A military unit treated cases not sent to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital (London) from March 1915 onward. In addition a special 200 bed unit for limbless men domiciled in Cheshire and Lancashire, excluding Manchester, was established at Alder Hey.


[British Medical Journal]



Medical services. Surgery of the war (Volume 2) by William Grant Macpherson.

At the Liverpool Pensions Hospital Major W. H. Broad, the officer-in-charge, made a practice of seeing each patient in the presence of the gymnastic instructor, to whom he gave detailed instructions as to the treatment. This is a very important matter. Patients should never be passed on to a lay gymnast, however clever he may be, with a bare request for " exercises." Patients who were capable of participation in a general class did individual exercises suited to their special disabilities before joining it each day. It was noted here that a routine of " drill " exercises without the variation of games soon palled, and many varieties were introduced, the most popular being " basket ball." Major Broad mentions the case of a patient who had his internal semilunar cartilage excised. Five days after the operation massage was begun ; ten days later, gentle movements ; on the fourteenth day he began treatment in the gymnasium, and on the twenty-first day after the operation he jumped 4 ft. 10 in. high, taking off with the injured leg.



Dr W.H.Broad and Everton FC

The minutes of Everton FC on the 18th February 1919 record a report being read out from Dr W.H.Broad regarding an injured player J.Miller. He was examined and would be fit for duty on the 22nd.


General Meeting held at Bee Hotel August 31st 1920

The Election of officers resulted as follows.



Vice-presidents messrs

W.B.Croxford, R.F.Harding, R.W.Jones, J.Kay, H.Marshall, J.Milbourn, H.J.Morgan, L.Stringer, J.W.A.Taylor, I.R.Williams, W.G.Flint, A.E.Harris, Dr W.H.Broad, Dr Rumjahn, J.H.Helme, W.Deacon, S.Lees, H.Lees and Dr H.J.Knox.



Around 1920 Major Broad was awarded the Territorial Decoration (T.D.) This is granted for a minimum of 20 years commissioned service, with service in the ranks counting half and war service counting double.





Liverpool King's Regiment

Royal Army Medical Corps

Territorial Decoration






Dr W.H.Broad and the Aboringinal Skull

Lynne Heidi Stumpe explains…

Ok, well today I’d like to tell you a little bit about the background to the Australian skull that went back to Australia earlier this year. We actually received the request to return in December 2005, a number of years ago which gives you an idea of how long it can take to complete the repatriation process.

The request came in December 2005 from somebody called Bernie Yates, who was speaking on behalf of the Australian government. Bernie was working in the office of Indigenous Policy Coordination in Australia at the time and he requested the return of all of the Australian human remains in National Museums Liverpool’s collections. These were actually just the remains of three individuals and one of these individuals was represented by a skull with a separate jaw bone.

As some of you know, you may have been here actually, the skull went back to Australia earlier this year and on the 13 May 2009. A ceremony was held at the front of World Museum to mark the handover of the skull to the Australian government representatives and the Australian Aboriginal representatives. But before the actual handover went ahead, there were actually a series of events that were happening behind the scenes.

This is at the museum store in Bootle (shows slide.) This is the human remains cabinet where the skull was kept while it was staying here. One of two human remains cabinets that we have which are usually kept locked. The skull when it was taken out of the cabinet, first thing that morning was very carefully packed into its box, its archive box for transport by Tracey Seddon who’s one of our senior organics conservators. The delegation that came to collect the skull had actually asked us to present the skull covered so it wasn’t being treated in a disrespectful way when it was being handed over to them.

The skull actually was sitting on this little platform here (refers to image); it had its own mount before it was put away. Here are the representatives and the delegation. On the left is Alessandra Pretto, who is the Executive Officer for repatriation from the Australian High Commission in London. The person in the middle is Major Sumner and the person on the right is George Trevorrow.

George and Major are representatives of the Ngarrindjeri people and they are elders, Ngarrindjeri elders. They are wearing paint because they performed a private ceremony at the museum store before the official handover, this was just the two of them on their own in the museum store and they performed a smoking ceremony to cleanse the area that the skull had been kept in, for the sake of the skull itself and the sake of the other items in store around it and after they’d done that we then signed all of the paperwork. There were a number of forms and things to complete and we did all of that after the private ceremony. The actual signing of the forms marked the formal handover of the skull to the representatives who had come to collect it.

So after that the box that the transport crew packed the archive box in to was strapped securely into the van that had been organised by the Australian High Commission and away it went down here to World Museum.

When it arrived you can see that George is holding it, holding the packing crate covered by the Australian National flag and Major kindled a fire in a traditional bark container and put it on the floor. This kind of container is known by a number of different names depending on which language group you’re talking about in Australia, of which there are many. I’m not sure of the Ngarrindjeri name, I’m afraid I forgot to check with George and Major, elsewhere it’s known as a 'coolamon' or a 'pitchi' or a number of different names. The contents of the bowl are smouldering Eucalyptus leaves and a type of sea daisy that comes from the coastal area which is part of Ngarrindjeri territory.

After this, Major then addressed the spirits in the Ngarrindjeri language and he danced with three ceremonial boomerangs and he did this in a particular way - striking each boomerang to the floor and then holding it up to the air. As well as speaking in Ngarrindjeri, he spoke in English about ancestors and about the importance of ancestors and what an emotional moment this was for the Ngarrindjeri to have the skull repatriated to Australia. He thought it was quite interesting that the place opposite to the World Museum entrance, St John’s Gardens, was at one time a graveyard as well. He thought that that might be important to the fact that the ceremony was held in the place that it was.

After this Major performed a dance and cleansed the area again using the smoke and a feather which is a Pelican feather. During this time George also spoke to the audience and Major walked around the circle holding the bowl and fanning the smoke again with the feather.

Finally the crate was packed into its travelling van yet again and after everything was finished that day it travelled down to London for its flight to Adelaide. It was then to travel by road after that to Canberra and to the National Museum of Australia.

So after this you’re probably wondering as I was from the beginning of all of this, how did the skull get to Liverpool in the first place and why was it brought here? Well this is a bit of a detective story and as in all detective stories we’re trying to reconstruct what actually happened from evidence using a variety of different sources, and in this case the original sources are the original documents, the background information and historical information that we can find out and also scientific study; a forensic scientific study of the skull itself.

So in terms of where I came into this, finding out about the skull I looked immediately at what written evidence we had associated with the skull within the museum, but unfortunately this was very very minimal to the extent of things like information written on labels. I don’t know if you can see that very well, I do have those labels here and I can read you out the information. On one side we have the museum number assigned to the skull which is 48-4, which is on both labels, one for the cranium and one for the jaw bone 48-4 Australia.

On the other side we have Aboriginal skull or rather Aborigine skull and on the other label Mandible (skull separate). The skull also had the following written on it in ink which I’m going to read out, I’m not going to show you a photograph of the skull because generally speaking it’s not considered respectful to the skull to show photographs of it particularly now it’s been repatriated. So the skull had the following written on it in ink 48-4 again which is the museum accession number Australian Aborigine and WHB. The initials WHB and these were in a different handwriting which is presumably the handwriting of the donor as we’ll find out shortly.

When the museum acquired the skull it was recorded in the acquisitions register, which is also known as the stock book, and this gives usually minimal details of the item that we’ve acquired and who we acquired it from. Sometimes it gives more information but in this case it didn’t of course. So we had the entry right at the very top which reads 13.2.48; the day it came in, the accession number; 48-4, department; ethnology vertebrate zoology, skull of Australian Aborigine, number of specimens; one and source; Doctor W.H.Broad, 17 Rodney Street, Liverpool . And it was a purchase at the value of eight pounds. The skull is also mentioned in the museums 1948 annual report as a purchase in the Ethnology Collections but with no other details and there is no information on file at all apart from this to say where the skull came from originally or how Doctor Broad acquired it.

So to find out more I had to explore three different avenues of enquiry. First of all Doctor Broad and his history, secondly, what was happening in Australia in the first half of the twentieth century leading up to the skull coming here and thirdly, what the osteological evidence might have to say about it.

So Doctor Broad. Well from sources such as Who Was Who? and his obituary in the Lancet, I found out that William Henry Broad was born in 1875 and died in 1948 shortly after he sold the skull to the museum. He graduated in Liverpool in 1900 and he worked in several local hospitals including the Royal Infirmary. This is an entry in a book called 'Liverpool and Birkenhead in the Twentieth Century' which was published in 1911 and it gives us a nice photograph of Broad himself.

So reconstructing all of this information we found out that between 1902 and 1904, he spent two years travelling, visiting the United States, Canada, Australia and South Africa. On his return to Liverpool in 1904, he became a consultant and he married Cynthia Hawkes, who interestingly was the daughter of Henry Morgan Hawkes of Adelaide in South Australia and they had one son. Doctor Broad was quite well known at that time in Liverpool as an orthopaedic surgeon but also as an Anthropologist. He held a number of prominent positions in the area including Regional Consulting Advisor in Physical Medicine and lecturer in Physical Anthropology at Liverpool University. Anthropology was a kind of second career for him and he was a fellow of the Royal Anthropological Institute. He was also a member of Liverpool City Council and a President of Liverpool Literary and Philosophical Society. His publications in scientific and medical journals included the papers, ‘The Skeleton of a Native Australian’, published in 1902 and ‘Prehistoric Man In The Light of Recent Discoveries’, published in 1914.

The first thing that came to mind was could the skull be from the skeleton that Broad had published information about in 1902? Well this is the first sheet of the paper, quite technical as you can see with measurements and so on and information about different vertebrae and he gave quite a lot of measurements about the skull and indeed he described the shape of the skull in his paper. He didn’t give a photograph but from the measurements of the skull in the paper, it didn’t tally with the one that we were concerned with. However, his obituary in the Lancet mentioned another paper entitled ‘Heredity and Skull Form’ published in 1913. Unfortunately this was the one thing that I haven’t been able to find to date, despite searching all the copies of all the relevant journals that it might’ve been published in. The Lancet didn’t mention the name of the journal unfortunately and searching all of the unpublished papers that I can lay my hands on that might be the one were talking about I’ve drawn a complete blank. Of course I’ve contacted Liverpool University over this; I was working with someone there who I’ll mention later. And I also did a little bit of genealogical research and contacted everybody in the local are with the surname Broad, but again I drew a complete blank. I didn’t get to interview anybody in this particular case, unfortunately. It’s possible of course that further genealogical research will turn up something relevant but at that particular point in the research, I didn’t have the time to do it. So I had to abandon that particular line of enquiry at that point.

So another line of enquiry was what might have been happening in Australia at the time of Broad’s visit and what he might have been doing there. For this I looked for published sources including general histories, I looked at scientific journals and I also looked at newspaper articles at the time. And, very interesting story this, apparently sending human remains to institutions outside Australia was very common up to 1913. In 1913, there was a permit system introduced which regulated and controlled the number of human remains being sent out of the country, but before that date it was very very common and in the early 19th century and early 1900’s there were several people associated with medical establishments in Adelaide who were sending Aboriginal remains to the United Kingdom. There were three of these main ones; the first and most famous was someone called William Ramsay Smith who was chairman of the Central Board of Health, city coroner, inspector of anatomy and a doctor at the Adelaide hospital. The second one was Edward Stirling who was the director of Adelaide museum and he was also a professor of physiology at the University of Adelaide. So he had a foot in both camps with collecting for museums and collecting for medical reasons. The third one was Archibald Watson who was Elder Professor of anatomy also at the University of Adelaide. Ramsay Smith was by far and away the most prolific. By the early 1900s, he actually had a supply network of people across Australia and he also acquired remains from the mortuary at Adelaide hospital. This became public knowledge in 1903 and he was at that point suspended from civic and medical duties on a charge of misusing human bodies; however he was later cleared and actually commended for his work.

In general, most of the people supplying remains were members of the medical profession or they had an interest in anthropology or both and the appeared to be collecting for science rather than for overt economic gain. They obtained remains from a variety of sources including Aboriginal burial sites, hospitals that we’ve mentioned and also battlefields and sites of altercation.

At the end of the 19th century, Aboriginal Australians were thought to be becoming extinct, particularly Tasmanians as we probably know. This meant that the skeletons and other remains were in great demand in British scientific circles. Their possession and the related study meant high levels of prestige for an institution and an individual at this time. Ramsay Smith’s UK contacts were mainly with Edinburgh University. Watson and Stirling had contacts elsewhere, but none of the three had any links with Liverpool or Doctor Broad that I have been able to establish.

I’ll just put this (slide) back to Major, a lot nicer to look at than the front page of a journal.

So where does Dr. Broad fit in to this? Well that he wrote a paper on an Aboriginal Australian skeleton in 1902, before visiting Australia, shows that he was keenly interested in skeletal remains of this type. He already had an interest before he went. While in Australia, although he was only relatively newly graduated his aspirations as well as his medical background might also indicate contact with Ramsay Smith and others who were prominent members of the local community at the time. Then Broad’s wife came from Adelaide and in fact the local newspaper the Adelaide Advertiser has social columns with her name mentioned quite often at this period. It is possible therefore that he visited that area while he was in Australia during 1902 to 1904 when he was in his late twenties. Journeying by sea, he would have been there in the middle of his trip in about 1903.

So there are three possibilities for the source of the skull: First of all that Broad may have acquired it before 1902 from Watson or Stirling or Ramsay Smith or from another source in the United Kingdom for example the Anthropology Society of London or auction houses at this time were selling or otherwise disseminating this kind of material. Secondly he may have acquired it in Australia between 1902 and 1904 from Ramsay Smith or other contacts in Adelaide or from another source and thirdly he may have acquired it after 1904, from Ramsay Smith or others in Adelaide or from another source.

So now the skull is back in Australia, it is hoped that further research there might shed some light on this. It is easier of course to carry out that kind of research there than here. I have contacted the museum in Adelaide and other obvious sources of information but without success.

I need to backtrack a little bit, to the identification and attributions from osteological sources. To return to the skull itself. Is there any scientific evidence that the skull is what it says it is, Aboriginal Australian or to show where in Australia it might’ve come from? Well the skull was examined in the first instance by Robert Connolly at the University of Liverpool department of human anatomy in June 2006, but the results were relatively inconclusive.

So through my contacts with the Australian High Commission in London, we arranged with Tania Kausmally, a Research Osteologist based at the Museum of London to examine the skull. This was in November 2006. She identified the skull as an adult female, probably not more than 35 years old. Her report was then passed to Richard Wright, who is the Professor of Anthropology at the University of Sydney, who analysed the photographs of the skull, the tooth size and the measurements. And from the photographs and illustrations provided with the report, Wright identified three features of the skull which indicated mixed Australian and European Ancestry. From analysis of the measurements he used CRANID an acronym which I forget what it means but is the computer program package which compared twenty nine measurements from the cranium with sixty four samples from around the world that included 2870 crania at the time. As there is a high correlation between the shapes of the skulls and the geographical origin of skulls this means that the origins can be kind of inferred from that and mapped out.

The analysis by CRANID also indicated mixed ancestry as did measurements from four of the teeth. This is because European teeth tend to be smaller than those of Aboriginal Australians. Wright also confirmed the skull as female from the CRANID analysis.

So back in Liverpool Museum, trying to put all of this evidence together, when the research had been taken as far as it could go, I provided all of the relevant information in the form of a report in April 2007 to an internal museum committee which included representatives from the Board of Trustees. This report included information on the remains of all the three individuals requested for return. So as well as researching the skull, I was also researching the other remains as well which was again quite a long journey. All of this was done in line with the museums human remains policy which was in place by that time and from all of this it was recommended that all three individuals be returned to Australia. The skull is the first of the three to have had arrangements made for its return. During this the representatives of the Ngarrindjeri people worked with the Australian high commission to organise the travel details.

The territory of the Ngarrindjeri people covers the lower Murray River area near Adelaide, east of Adelaide and the coastal area south of Adelaide. For many generations interestingly, there has been a lot of inter marriage in this area with white settlers. It is possible therefore that the skull originated there. However the Ngarrindjeri people on this trip were specifically collecting unprovenanced, unattributed remains were area of origin is not yet known. The overall idea being that the remains of each tribal group will travel back to their homeland together so that each group will take back their ancestors’ remains.

So that is as far as I can go in this story, but fortunately we do have a film of what happened to the remains that went back to Australia on this particular collecting trip not just the skull from Liverpool but the remains from other institutions as well. All of this process was documented by Maria Meriweather who was introduced to you earlier. So now we’re going to see the film that she made about the return of the remains







Dr Broad passed away in Liverpool 1948

Major William Henry Broad M.D B.S.




Dr H.J.Knox

Vice-President August 31st1920

Hercules John Beresford Knox was born on 2nd August 1880 at Gortnor Abbey, Mayo in Ireland.

A gifted sportsman at Dublin School he went on to play ten Test Matches for Ireland from 1904-08.

[Photo courtesy of Dublin High School]

Dublin High School - H. J. Knox (1893-96) (Dublin University and Lansdowne)


He graduated with a Bachelor of Obstretic Arts (B.A.O.), Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) and Bachelor of Surgery (B.Ch.).

He married in June 1912, having a daughter Aileen Hilary Beresford-Knox, and after WW1 was promoted to Temp. Captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps.

Whilst on Merseyside he played for Liverpool Rugby Club (noted by Liverpool St Helens RFC). His surgery was at Balliol on Mill Bank, West Derby and he practiced in Rodney St.


Squadron Leader in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve

Daughter takes ill in 1939

Son-in-Law killed during RAF operation 1940

Pride and joy stolen in 1949

Dr Knox passed away in Liverpool 1975

Dr Hercules John Knox B.A.O. M.D. B.Ch.




Dr W.H.Dubourg

Played 1922-25

Vice-Presdent Sept 21st 1922

William Henry Dubourg was born 1901 in Liverpool and according to Medical Registers his father William Ernest was a Dental Surgeon, so he probably followed in his footsteps.





Military Service With The Territorials







Around 1950 Captain Dubourg was awarded the Territorial Decoration (T.D.) This is granted for a minimum of 20 years commissioned service, with service in the ranks counting half and war service counting double.



Liverpool King's Regiment

Royal Pioneer Corps

Territorial Decoration




He passed away in Birkenhead in 1977.

Dr William Henry Dubourg



Dr J.E.W.McFall

Elected 17.11.20

Played 1920-21

Vice-President 12.8.21

John Edward Whitley McFall, was born around 1869 in Liverpool. He graduated at Liverpool University in Medicine, Surgery and Forensics in 1898. 

He married Florence May Coward in 1900, the same year he opened his GP practice in Green Lane.

The History of Green Lane Medical Centre

1900 - Medical practice opens at 15 Green Lane owned by Professor McFall who was a forensic doctor as well as a GP. 

British Medical Journal JULY 24, 1909.


Degree Day.

THE Chancellor, Lord Derby, presided at and Ordinary medical degrees were conferred on the following:

M.D.-J. A.M. Bligh, L. Hutchinson, A. Hendry, H. E. Heapy, H. R. Hturter, T. W. Jones, J. M'Clennan, J. Graham, J. E. W. McFall

During WW1 he rose to the rank of Temp. Major in The Royal Army Medical Corps.


After the war he played at Sefton and became quite involved in the Committee.

Entries in the Committee Minutes


Dr McFall, subject to the consent of Mrs McFall, kindly offered to place his dining room at the disposal of the club for a series of lectures on the game by W.J.Smith, but as Mr Milbourn also offered the use of the Smoke Room at the Victoria Café, it was unanimously decided that the latter room was the better of the two, and it was decided to start the instruction there on Tuesday the 20th inst. at 7 p.m.


It was decided to buy a pair of Flesh Gloves for club use. Mr Smith was requested to obtain same, and Dr McFall promised to supply the club with any bandages required.


[Liverpool Echo 4/3/1925]

With his position as Professor of Forensic Medicine at Liverpool University he played active roles in many 'murder mysteries.'


Cycloramic photograph of the staff and students of the Medical School taken in the University quadrangle by Richard Brown, 35 Bold Street, Liverpool (1927)



Physical Description

1 photograph

Scope and Content

Those who have been identified by Dr. Vaughan Jones and a colleague are as follows, from left to right in all cases, (those unidentified being indicated by a dash: - ) :-

Front row (sitting on carpets and upholstery): A.N. Cameron, T.B. Davie, Langford Williams, Daniel Elihu Davies, Daniel (Hughes)-Davies, D.L. Jones, Trefor Lloyd Hughes, Horace Garner Evans, William Dodd, H.E.C. Sutton, Peter Fox, Miss Lucy Sargeant, Norman Roberts, J.J. Graham, Alun R. Williams, William Poole, John N. Matthews, -, -, Charles Kenneth Holland, ?Hutchinson (probably Hoskinson), ? A.S. Burke, -, -, Alejandro Martinez, T. Lennon, Arthur Lloyd Potter, C. Angior, -, -.

2nd row from front (seated): -, Moroney, Cank, Miss Hall (Librarian), Miss Frances M. Tozer, -, -, Dr. Phoebe Bigland, Dr. J.H. Mather, Dr. Stopford Taylor, Dr. Wadsworth, Dr. Howell Evans, Mr. Hugh Reid, Dr. Thurstan Holland, Professor Beattie, -, Professor J.E.W. McFall, Professor W. Blair Bell, Professor John Hay, Professor R.E. Kelly, Emeritus Professor Rushton Parker, Professor W.J. Dilling, Professor Ernest E. Glynn, Mr. Keith W. Monsarrat, Professor Wood, -, -, Professor Pibble, Dr. R.W. McKenna, Professor Hope, Dr. Balfour Williams, Dr. Duffield, Dr. M. Datnow, -, Dr. Sidney Herd, Dr. E.N. Chamberlain, Dr. R.W. Brookfield, -, Dr. Thompson, Cobban, Galloway.






The Enigmatic Wallace Murder Part 1

About the enigmatic Wallace murder of Mr. William Herbert Wallace's wife, history of the crime that took place in England.


The Murder: On January 19, 1931, a man named Qualtrough tried to put through a call to William Herbert Wallace at his chess club. He had trouble getting the number, and called the operator, a Miss Kelly. She later testified, "It was quite an ordinary voice. It was a man's voice. He said, 'Operator, I have pressed Button A but have not had my correspondent yet.'

I did not have any further conversation with the person in the box. I afterwards connected Anfield 1627 with Bank 3581." Wallace was not at the chess club, and Samuel Beattie, the club manager, took the call. Qualtrough left a message that Wallace should come to his house at 25 Menlove Gardens East the next night at 7:30 P.M.

Who was Qualtrough? When Wallace showed up later at the club, he said that he had never heard of him. But since Wallace was an insurance man, it might have been a business call.

The next night, Wallace went to look for Qualtrough and found that the address, 25 Menlove Gardens East, did not exist. He asked several people for advice, including a constable, but got nowhere. Alarmed, thinking a trick had been played on him, he headed for home.

He tried the key in the front door lock. It wouldn't open, which meant that the door had been bolted from the inside. Surprised, he went and tried the back door to find it locked too. He knocked twice, a signal for his wife, but no one came to the door.

His next-door neighbours, Mr. and Mrs. John Johnston, came out of their house about then, and he asked their advice. Mr. Johnston suggested that Wallace try the Johnston key in the back door. This time, Wallace was able to open the door--without the Johnston key. He went into the house, and the Johnstons saw a light go on upstairs. A minute or so later, he came out and said to them, "Come and see; she has been killed."

Lying on the floor of the little-used sitting room, face down, was Mrs. Wallace. There was a gaping 3" wound in front of her left ear. Underneath her body was a mackintosh--Wallace's mackintosh. Wallace searched the house to see if anything was missing but nothing was. Twice he put his hands to his head and sobbed. "They have finished her," he said. "Look at the brains."

It wasn't long before Constable Williams of the Liverpool City Police arrived. He questioned Wallace and searched the house, finding the main bedroom in some disorder. He found no sign of forcible entry or struggle, no murder weapon. (A charwoman, however, was to say later that an iron bar which was usually kept by the stove was missing.) Wallace, Constable Williams said, was acting in an "extraordinarily cool and calm manner."

Just before 10 P.M., Prof. J. E. W. McFall, a specialist in forensic medicine, arrived. He examined the body and said that death had taken place at 6 o'clock that evening and that she had been hit 11 times, even though the 1st blow probably killed her. He found blood and charring on the mackintosh.

© 1975 - 1981 by David Wallechinsky & Irving Wallace
Reproduced with permission from "The People's Almanac" series of books.
All rights reserved.



He passed away in Colchester during WW2 in 1941.

Professor J.E.W.McFall M.D.



Sefton Doctor Who ?

Dr O'Sullivan

Played 1920-21



Bidston beat Sefton A in a hard-fought game on the latter's ground by a goal and two tries (11 points) to a try (3 points). In the first half Sefton were superior in attack and Perrin scored a try. There would have been more scoring but for some resolute tackling by Parry, the Bidston full-back. In the second half, however, Bidston improved, and tries were scored by Galloway, Price, and Woodward, the latter also converting.

The visiting three-quarters were a better lot than Sefton's in that their handling was much superior and their running stronger, while Price and Poe showed a good understanding. Among the forwards Pavillard, A. Taylor and Cooper were prominent. Dr. O'Sullivan, at full-back for Sefton, played a sterling game, and in the second half undoubtedly saved his side from defeat. Bayliss gave his rear division the ball on numerous occasions, only to see it lost through faulty handling. The home forwards were outplayed in the loose, but worked hard, especially Perrin and Ledger. During the scrums the ball was rarely brought out cleanly, a general fault of second-class rugger.

Teams.-Sefton A: Dr. O'Sullivan; Thompson, Millington, Hudson, Davey; Bayliss, M'Gibbon; Ledger, Perrin. Williams, J. A. Cass, Rimmer, Mackenzie, Martinez, Jenkins.
Bidston-Parry; Burns, Ellam, Woodward, Galloway; Price, Poe; Cooper, Hudson, Pavillard. Williams, Rylls, H. Taylor, A. Taylor, Hinson.
Result:- Bidston 11 points, Sefton A. 3 points.

Daily Post 4/4/21


So Who Was He ?

Dr O'Sullivan's Casebook is firmly locked at present with scant details to identify him. The Committee Minutes have left us with just three possible keys.

Committee Meeting held at Hare and Hounds Hotel, West Derby 20.1.21
The following new members were elected.
Dr O'Sullivan proposed
Dr Rumjahn

Committee Meeting held at Hare and Hounds Hotel November 25th 1921

The resignations of the following were accepted

Dr O'Sullivan (returned to Ireland)
The resignation of Dr O'Sullivan was accepted with real regret.

To summarise, he was an Irish doctor, arrived in January 1921, departed in say December of that year and was held in high esteem by members of the club.
Throughout his association with the Sefton he is always referred to as plain "Dr O'Sullivan", no first name at all, did he prefer running almost incognito ?
The dates are extremely significant in terms of the volatile politics of Ireland, especially for the medical profession, in the post-WW1 period.
A few chapters of a book entitled "Medicine, Health and Irish Experiences of Conflict 1914-45" set out the problems that may have encompassed him.

[Civilian doctors who had not participated in the war often admitted that they were not au fait with the treatment of gunshot wounds. In May 1919, Dan Breen, Ned O'Brien and Jimmie Scanlon, three members of the IRA's East Limerick Brigade, were shot and wounded while rescuing another member of their brigade from the Royal Irish Constabulary (RIC). A local doctor, William Hennessy, was sent for to treat the wounded. Hennessy arrived and, after finishing his treatment, admitted that he had 'done his best for the wounded men but that he did not know very much about wounds'. Breen subsequently required further medical treatment from other doctors.
While the IRA sought the medical experience of doctors who had been in the British Army medical services, their assistance was not always offered. Although some held sympathy for republicanism, others were staunchly attached to the Union and may have deplored the levels of violence being used to secure national independence. On 15 February 1921, the IRA attacked a train carrying British soldiers at Upton, Co. Cork. The train was carrying approximately fifty soldiers of the Essex Regiment. During the shoot-out on the train, two IRA volunteers were killed, one was fatally wounded and two others were badly wounded. The local dispensary doctor in Enniskean refused to attend the Brigade OC and the other wounded men. The IRA arrested the doctor, who is listed in the 1921 Medical Directory as Dr T. J. Coakley, and tried him by court-martial. They found him guilty and ordered that he leave Ireland within twenty-four hours. Coakley departed to Liverpool.
The Irish Civil War, 1922-23
While ex-RAMC doctors' role in the War of Independence was somewhat secretive and carried out under the radar of the British Army and RIC, their involvement in the Irish Civil War was official and publicly recognised. During the interwar years Irish doctors continued to enlist in the RAMC. However, for those who wished to return to Ireland, there was an opportunity to continue their army work in the newly formed Irish National Army. Established in January 1922, it was the official army of the Irish Free State and operated under the control of Michael Collins, its Chief of Staff until his death in August 1922]
[ Extract from Medicine, Health and Irish Experiences of Conflict 1914-45 edited by David Durnin and Ian Miller]

A likely candidate may be Dr 
Éamon O’Sullivan(1896-1966) who was involved with Gaelic football in the 1920's. The Kerryman, known as ‘The Doc’, trained his native county to eight All-Ireland titles over five decades (1924, 1926, 1937, 1946, 1953, 1955, 1959 and 1962).

[Photo and narrative from UCD and the Sigerson by Irial Glynn]

See the glowing references   Dr Eamon O'Sullivan

Dr Crokes

See youtube clip  Dr Eamon O'Sullivan history

Perhaps when the 1921 Census is published more will come to light.


Dr Francis Hessey-Anderson 

                        Played 1913-14

Francis Hessey Anderson was born on the 29th November 1894, the son of Harry Anderson of Richmond, Natal, South Africa and attended Hilton College, Natal. He started his Medical Degree at Manchester University in 1912 where he excelled in both rugby and cricket, gaining his colours in the 1912-13 season. 
In the 1913-14 Winter Sports Supplement of the Manchester University Magazine he is described as follows “ The most determined of the defensive halves: invaluable in saving and tackling, and keen almost to a fault, Much improved in passing out, and appreciates the value of the blind side of the scrum. Played for Lancashire throughout the season”.
There seemed to a close connection between the medical fraternity of the Aliens and their Manchester colleagues with South African stars such as Von Mengerhausen and Anderson playing frequent games in the 1913-14 Season.

[Many thanks to Dr James Peters, Archivist at Manchester University Archive & Records Centre]

4th Feb 1913


The Aliens broke the spell which has remained so long on their homeland at Clubmoor by a brilliant 25 points to 3 victory. Southport were weakly represented, their team including eight reserves, Twy being absent from the pack, and Gifford much missed at half-back. Aliens opposed them with an exceptionally strong combination, which included Hessey-Anderson, the Lancashire half-back, and Von Mengershausen, Manchester University and ex-South Africa three-quarter. Aliens asserted themselves early, as after three minutes H. Anderson obtained from a five yards' scrum, and eluding Grimshaw, Wainwright and Mackintosh "docked" safely. Later Anderson's astuteness enabled Ellis to slip through unmolested. After dominating the scrum the Aliens heeled out to Anderson, who artfully enabled the veteran Croston to get in near the posts, Bishop later cleverly negotiating the major points. Following a line out, Trist also traversed the Southport lines. Von Mengershausen engineered a bright venture, and parted to Croxford, who worked the oracle once more. Aliens thus had 19 points to their credit at the interval.
Olympic resumed with the wind in their favour, and soon managed to catch their hosts napping. Following a five yards' scrummage Grimshaw got away with oval to Baldwin, who got home smartly, and thus scored Southport's solitary try. The homesters, however, continued to dominate, and further tries came from Anderson and O'Donnell. The outstanding feature of the game was Anderson's irrepressibility.
Post 4/1/1914

3rd Mar 1914

British Medical Journal 14/2/1914

He joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve and in June 1915 was appointed Surgeon Probationer(like a GP) aboard the destroyer HMS Legion.

3rd July 1915

Book 1979


By 1916 he had been promoted to Surgeon Lieutenant

8th April 1916

13th May 1916


After a break for war service he graduated with his medical degree in 1920 and returned to South Africa to continue his career and sporting prowess.

Dr. F. H. Anderson in South Africa.

Dr. F. H. Anderson, ex-captain of Manchester University and Lancashire County Rugby XV., has lost very little time in making his mark in African Rugby football circles. Soon after his return to that country he led his club, the Wasps Wanderers of Pietermaritzburg, to victory in final of the Murray Cup; and the Blue Riband of Natal Rugby. That was on September 24, 1921, the last Saturday of that season.
On May 6 Dr. Anderson played in a Natal trial match for the Rest of Natal v. Combined Durban. Durban won by 18 points to 12 (thanks to superior kicking), but so greatly did the Doctor impress that he was not merely selected to partner W.H.Townsend, the Springbok half-back, but he was actually, on his first selection for Natal, appointed captain of the team in succession to H. W. Taylor, the South African cricket captain, who has now retired from active participation in Rugby football.
The distinction which has accorded Dr. Anderson will be understood better when it is explained that the Natal team selected contains no fewer than five members of the South African side which visited New Zealand last year and of those five one is a former captain.
The Natal team was due to sail from Durban on May 19 for the purpose of playing three Currie Cup matches in the Cape Province, their opponents being the Border, the Eastern Province, and. the Western Province.
To play these three matches the team will have to travel over 2,400 miles, and will be away from Natal 13 days.
Athletic News 1922

According to the South African Medical Journal in 1924 Dr Anderson had branched into Gyneacology and was Secretary of this section.

A request to the Secretary of Collegians Rugby Club, Willie J. Field in Pietermarizburg for information on his later life has disappointingly revealed nothing.

Dr Anderson passed away in Adelaide, Eastern Province in 1949

Dr F.H.Anderson M.B. Ch.B.



Dr R.A. Roberts M.M.
(Robert Alun, b. 1894 Liverpool d. Neath 1961)

Robert Alun Roberts was born in Liverpool on April 5th 1894 and started to play for the Aliens in the 1912-13 season, probably encouraged
by his elder brother Emyr, also seen on the team photograph. He graduated B.Sc. in 1915 at Liverpool University and shortly afterwards was
drafted into the RAMC to serve on the front in France.


Recorded in the Welsh Newpapers  on 8th October 1918 - "Our young friend Robert Alun Roberts, son of Mr Robert Roberts and the late Mrs Roberts, 100 Anfield Road,
Liverpool has won the Military medal for bravery in the field. He belongs to the RAMC which is following the Guards Division in France".


The above documents are transcribed incorrectly as "Alan"

He returned to playing rugby in 1919 but resigned from the club on the 21st September 1922 to continue his medical career.
After gaining his M.B., Ch.B. in 1923 he spent about twelve years in South Africa, first as radiologist to the Kimberley Hospital


and then to the Cape Town Hospital Board.

He obtained the Diploma in Radiology and Electrology in 1931 also from the University of Liverpool

Early in 1941 he joined the South African Medical Corps, attaining the rank of Major. Later he served as
radiologist to several South African hospitals in the Middle East and transferred to the R.A.M.C.
After the war he returned to Britain and was appointed consultant radiologist to the mid-Glamorgan area in 1949.
He had retired from his position as consultant at radiologist to the mid-Glamorgan area when he reached the age limit in 1959, but
continued his active interest in the work nearly to the end.

"Dr. Roberts was a pleasant colleague to work with and was only partially frustrated by lack of funds
His widow and elder daughter live in Western Australia, and his son in Melbourne. His other daughter lives in Uganda."
British Medical Journal 17th February 1962

Dr. R. A. Roberts died at the Neath General Hospital on December 16, 1961, at the age of 67

Military Medal

The Allied Victory Medal

British War Medal                      

R.A.M.C. Cap Badge
South African M.C. Cap Badge 

R.  A.  ROBERTS, M.B., Ch.B.,  B.Sc., D.M.R.E.



Dr Eduardo Martinez Alonso

Written and researched by David Bohl, with the kind help of the Rule family tree and historians world wide.

The intruguing story of E.A.Martinez starts with his Uruguayan father, also Eduardo, moving from his Consular post in Vigo, Spain to Glasgow in 1912.
Eduardo Snr became Consul in Liverpool in 1917, and his relations with the shipping and commercial community of Merseyside were always most cordial. He reached retirement age but in appreciation of his valued services, his Government asked him to continue in office (he completed 25 years in total). He was greatly attached to Liverpool, and had intimated that he would not accept promotion involving his departure from the city. For many years, he and his family lived in Alexandra Drive, Sefton Park with his wife, eight sons, and three daughters. Seven of his sons were educated at Liverpool University.

["Alhambra" - Photo courtesy of the Rule Family tree]

[Photo courtesy of the Rule Family tree]

Back Row: Sarah, Eduardo Alonso, George and elder brother

[The children going on holiday to Vigo in the summer of 1914 -]

Born in Vigo in 1903, Eduardo Martinez Alonso entered Liverpool University to study medicine in 1918 and together with elder brother George (b.1902), joined the Aliens shortly after their reformation in December 1919. Their younger sibling Alejandro Juan started playing at the first opportunity in 1920 with Arthur(perhaps a cousin) playing in 1923-24.

[1XV - 1920/21 Eduardo and George]

[1XV - 1920/21 Alejandro]

[1XV - 1923/24 Arthur]


Played at West Derby, ending in a pointless draw.

Teams:- Sefton "A": Kidd, Ovey, Scotson, Morrisey, Fraser, E A. Martinez (captain), G. Martinez, Kay, Darbyshire, Cornick, Simpson, Snape, H. W. Jones, V. Jones, and Price.

Wigan Old Boys 'A': F. Payne, I. Dodson, G.Scott, H. Scott, H. Booth, J. H. Roberts, H.Baxendale, A. H. Crawshaw, W. Lang, A. R. Martland, J. Lea (captain), H. Peacock, H. Leyland, E. Lupton, and A. Goodyear.

The Wiganers were up against a stiff proposition in that their opponents had not lost a match this season. The game was of a gruelling nature, and only the determined tackling of the visitors kept Sefton out. The brothers Martinez were a clever combination and took a lot of stopping. The Old Boys certainly deserved all praise, especially as they had two tries disallowed.

Wigan Examiner 24/10/1922

When Eduardo qualified in Medicine he was uncertain what his next step should be, and his mother, possibly keen to free up a little space in the house where he lived with his two older and eight younger siblings, suggested that his grandmother in Madrid would be delighted if he went to stay with her. In September of 1924 both Eduardo and George resigned from the club.
Taking the huge hint off his mother Dr Martinez set off for Madrid and took further medical degrees. He was soon in high demand as an English speaking physician, one of his patients was Queen Ena, the British wife of King Alfonso. 

In normal circumstances we could usually finish this life story off with one sentence and say he continued to be a successful thoracic surgeon in Spain, but, he published a book in early 1960's illustrating heroic service to the Allied cause in the Second World War.

'Adventures of a Doctor' is a very rare book to find, but luckily a precis has been written recently by Caroline Angus Baker
Just in case the link disappears in the future here is the review in full, our great thanks to Caroline:-

SPAIN BOOK REVIEW: ‘Adventures of a Doctor’ by E. Martínez Alonso
PUBLISHED ON February 18, 2014

[Adventures of a Doctor by Eduardo Martínez Alonso seems to be so rare, I can’t find any cover art or a blurb about this book. I managed to purchase a damaged copy from the New Zealand parliamentary library, and when they tossed this book to me for a mere $6 (about €3.60), they obviously didn’t know what a treasure they had. Eduardo Martínez is quite an extraordinary man with a story that seems to have been largely lost. With the market flooded with 1001 Spanish civil war books, it comes as a great surprise that this book doesn’t get more recognition.
The story starts with the author born in Vigo, Galicia in 1903. His father was from Uruguay, and was the consul in Vigo. As a young boy, Martínez travelled to his father’s homeland, along with his family (he was one of eleven children, and talks of his mother constantly having to nurse his siblings). The story tells of life in northern Spain in the era, and exploits with his brothers and attending a boarding school with mixed success. In 1912, Martínez’s father received a post to Glasgow, and the whole family moved north for a new life. Martínez dreamed of working in hotels or on ships, able to meet people and travel far and wide. He became bilingual at a young age, seeing the benefit of speaking Spanish, English, French and more. But it was his father who said he would be a doctor, not a sailor. As each of the eight boys grew and carved out professions (sisters, of course, were to be wives and caregivers), the prophecy of the hard-working consul came true. The family and Martínez recalls the first world war, his school years and an eventual trip back to Uruguay.
As a trained doctor, Martinez moved to Madrid with his grandmother, and speaks of seeing Anna Pavlova dance at Teatro Real, with the King and Queen in attendance. He quickly took up a post at Red Cross Hospital, and met Queen Ena, British wife of King Alfonso XIII, and the Duchess of Lecera, who were delighted to have an English-speaking doctor. News travelled of an English-speaking doctor in favour with the queen, and Martínez was in hot demand. Just eighteen months later, Martinez graduated from San Carlos Medical Facility and while meeting the King and Queen socially and professionally, was appointed the medical adviser to the royal family. This proved to be an amazing and dangerous post.
When the Second Spanish Republic was founded in 1931, Martínez was in the palace in Madrid with the royal family as they were deposed. He tells of sitting casually with Queen and princesses as the monarchy fell. As the family were forced into exile and as Spain underwent revolution, Martínez’s position as a monarchist him an easy target. As civil war came five years later, things changed dramatically. Martínez got his family out of Spain in July 1936, or off to the safety of Vigo, and knew he would be in danger as a former royal family aide. Through his work for the Red Cross, he was ordered by a Communist faction to work as a doctor for the Republican side of the war.
On Saturday morning the shooting started. We sat in a bar and heard the crackling of machine guns, the burst of hand grenades, and I saw smoke arising from many quarters of Madrid. By Monday morning a general strike had been called. Everything was paralysed except murder, arson, and rape. The Spanish civil war had commenced – Pg 70
Martínez talks of watching a church burning as priceless works of art were set alight along with the riches of the churches of Madrid. He saw a priest thrown on the flames but was unable to save his life when he pulled the screaming body from the blaze. Most priests were taken out to Casa del Campo to be shot. Men were burning priests but trying to revive pigeons which fell from bell towers, overcome by smoke. Martínez had an apartment in Madrid, and he hid as many people as he could throughout the war. Nuns and priest were hidden, and forced to serve meals to men who sat and spoke of vicious murders they had committed against the clergy.
Martínez was posted to a town outside Badajoz, Cabeza del Buey, in the south-west, working for the Communists. While running the hospital, a young nurse, Guadalupe, suggested they flee and work for Franco’s troops instead, but Martínez seemed convinced that he would be killed at some stage, regardless of where he was posted, and claimed no political alliances. In Cabeza del Buey, he was forced to attend mass executions of seemingly innocent men, and despair at violent speeches about revolution and vengeance. He performed many surgeries and saved lives in the most atrocious conditions. But with no warning, Martínez was shipped off, with Guadalupe, and sent to Ocaña, just outside Aranjuez, to work in the prison there, and be a prisoner himself. As he had in Cabeza del Buey, Martinez managed to get some nuns freed from prison to work as nurses, and treated patients while living in a cell himself. Between dire conditions and deadly activities, a patient told Martínez that his turn to be executed was near. An in understated manner, Martínez talked of his prison escape to Valencia in March 1937, were he managed to procure a fake passport and get aboard the Maine, a ship bound for Marseilles.
Martínez quickly got himself back in Spain, despite the dangers. He chose to cross the lines and work for the ‘white’ side of Spain, Franco’s rebel army. Red Spain (the Republicans), he felt, thought nothing of him, his work, and long suspected their cause would lose the war, one they never had a chance to win. Posted to Burgos, Valladolid and then San Sebastien, Martínez then found himself working on the front lines as Franco’s army continued to advance into enemy territory. Towns fell one by one as Martínez fought to save lives, but writes in such a humble, unassuming manner. Once in Zaragoza, Martínez worked hard to care for patients at the hospitals, and pioneered the use of closed casts on wounds, a procedure first tried with less success twenty years earlier. Despite the smell offending wealthy female volunteers, Martínez’s experiment helped the lives of many patients otherwise in agony as they recovered. He was then moved on to his own mobile surgical unit in Teruel in 1938.
Martínez was there on the ground when troops stopped in Sarrión, 100kms north-west of Valencia, as the war finally came to its brutal end. On April 1st, 1939, the war was over and declared won by Franco in this small town, and after helping a man and his son to Valencia, Martínez sought out all those who had helped him during the war, and moved back to Madrid. No sooner than Martínez had helped his friends and former nurses, and begged for clemency for some condemned to death by the new regime, the second world war broke out. With some family in Vigo and some Britain, travelling on multiple passports, danger was again faced. As Hitler plowed through Europe, Madrid suffered greatly after the civil war and Martínez went to work at Miranda de Ebro, near Burgos, to help war refugees from all nations. With such a humble attitude, he glossed over his feat to aid refugees out of Spain, saving their lives, until in 1942, when his ferrying of innocents was discovered and he was forced to flee Spain. His time working with British Naval Attaché, Captain Alan Hillgarth is barely touched upon, but should surely serve as an incredible tale of a man saving lives at great risk to his own. This two-year period alone could serve as a story all of its own. Just his dramatic escape would serve as its own story, but the author covers it in a few sentences, and neglects to mention he fled with a new wife. He also failed to mention his first marriage which produced two children, but was annulled after Franco took power in 1939 (His wife was a British woman who went home without him). I only found about either marriage after studying the doctor further myself. There are no clues to whom these women are at any point in the book. His personal life is never touched upon.
Again, Martínez talks little of his involvement with the rest of the world war, after being detained when first arriving in Britain (no idea if his Spanish wife was also detained), but worked as a spy for Britain throughout and barely talks about it. He worked at Queen Mary Hospital after the war and oversaw great new procedural advances, meeting some of Europe’s finest surgeons, but then returned home to Madrid. Life was hard in the beleaguered nation, and he again went to work at Red Cross Hospital, specialising in chest surgery. He then moved on to working as the doctor for the Castellana Hilton, newly opened in 1953. He recounts stories of wealthy Americans, and famous movies stars (unnamed) alike, who came to Madrid for all sorts of reasons. He spoke with frustration at his patients demanding penicillin shots, not wanting to discuss why they need this medication. Many guests, male and female, had a penchant for sleeping around and wanting medicine to atone their sins, either before or just after the liaisons which bore infections. One guest talks of being raped and demanding penicillin, though the story is far from convincing to the doctor. Sexual liberation had come to the foreign guests at the Hilton, and expected Martínez’s penicillin to cover it up. He makes his disdain clear for these patients and the abuse of this groundbreaking medication, and of the myriad of alcoholics he was forced to attend to, when little could really be done for them.
The book is written in the manner of a doctor – no-nonsense, no fussing with detail, just the raw facts given out without prejudice. Martínez is a man with the story worthy of a Hollywood blockbuster, but it wouldn’t be his style. This book was written in 1961, and Martinez lived until 1972. It shows what really stood out to the doctor in his life, because details are excluded, and there are many secret operations he simply never wanted to discuss. He is free and easy with dates – because I know the civil war, I could piece together the timelines of the book, but needed to look up world war details and the opening of the Madrid Hilton, just to give myself an idea of how much time passed between chapters.
*above photo taken just prior to release from the Spanish army, 1939. Photo supplied in the book (page 112)]

So it looks like we have a real life Spanish episode of "Hola, Hola" on our hands, but the lid really came off events in 2005 when a Special Operations Executive file held at the National Archives in Kew was de-classified. 

Martinez’s daughter, Patricia Martínez De Vicente became aware of this and after a lengthy trawl through all this unknown fascinating information she wrote a book called "The Enclave, Embassy". 

Another online article by Nicholas Coni combines  'Adventures of a Doctor' and 'La Clave, Embassy' entitled Surgeon Who Undertook Special Operations
Once again just in case the link disappears in the future here is the page in full, our great thanks to Nicholas:-

Surgeon Who Undertook Special Operations
by Nicholas Coni

Correspondence: 26 Brookside, Cambridge CB2 1JQ, UK

[Although he was born in Vigo in 1903, and although his name and ancestry are Spanish, Eduardo Martínez Alonso qualified in this country and a curious sequence of adventures led him to pursue his career in Spain and to his heroic service to the Allied cause in the Second World War (WWII).
Education and early professional life
Eduardo’s father, a lawyer, was posted to Glasgow as the Spanish Consul in 1912, but was subsequently transferred to Liverpool, and after his school days in Scotland which he describes well in his memoirs¹ (the present account is based on his book and that of his daughter² except where other references are given), the young man entered Liverpool University to study medicine in 1918. When he qualified, he was uncertain what his next step should be, and his mother, possibly keen to free up a little space in the house where he lived with his two older and eight younger siblings, suggested that his grandmother in Madrid would be delighted if he went to stay with her. She was a well-connected lady, her uncle having been one of the many young officers who attracted the attention of Queen Isabella II and having become a general, a duke and the Viceroy of Cuba. While staying with her, Martínez was introduced to the Chief of Surgery at the Red Cross Hospital, which had been founded by the patron of the Spanish Red Cross, King Alfonso XIII’s wife Victoria Eugenia of Battenberg (“Queen Ena”, grand-daughter of Queen Victoria, born in Balmoral Castle in 1887 and, as events would show, a carrier of haemophilia), who visited almost daily. She seems to have been pleased to meet an English-speaking doctor and offered him a position as an intern in the hospital, and while in this post he graduated from San Carlos Medical Faculty, Madrid, and embarked upon his surgical training. His grandmother obligingly moved to a larger apartment which could accommodate his consulting rooms as well as the x-ray machine which she bought him. Here, he performed minor procedures when not assisting at major operations at the hospital, and it is clear that his practice flourished; he visited surgeons in Paris and London, and was appointed medical adviser to the British and American Embassies. He met the King, helped to look after a close relative of the Queen, and was informed by her that she had recommended to her husband that he be nominated medical adviser to the Court – when, in 1931, the Monarchy was firmly rejected by the electorate, the Second Republic was declared, and the Royal Family hurriedly departed into voluntary exile.
Martínez’ memoirs are exceedingly short on details of his personal life, and he makes no mention of the marriage which he contracted to an Englishwoman, ex-wife of a scion of the De-Havilland aircraft manufacturer, with whom he had two children. She left for the UK, never to return, and this marriage would become retrospectively invalid under the new regime in 1939 as it had not been celebrated in a Catholic church, leaving him free to marry a boyhood girlfriend from Galicia.
Civil War
It does not appear to have been until the outbreak of the Civil War in July 1936, that the upheavals that were ravaging Spain, really started to impact upon him. It became necessary to simulate a revolutionary fervour that one may or may not have felt, and some flavour of the times can be drawn from his account of a dinner party which he hosted which is also described in strangely similar words by one of the guests, a somewhat unreliable American journalist from the flat below. The other guests were a couple of anarchist militiamen, whom Martínez had clearly thought it prudent to invite, and who, under the influence of their host’s liberal copas of Valdepenas, described the unspeakable barbarities which they had just been inflicting on two unfortunate priests – blissfully unaware that the two maids who served them were, in reality, nuns in disguise whom Martínez was sheltering together with a priest who was hiding in the next room. Martínez protests throughout his memoirs that he was at all times entirely apolitical – as well as, apparently, having been agnostic and somewhat anticlerical himself – and that he practised his profession totally indifferent to the allegiances of his patients. There is no real reason to doubt him, but our beliefs are conditioned to some extent by our upbringing, and it was inevitable that his loyalty to the Republic would be suspect. This was more than sufficient reason, in those terrible days, to earn a denunciation and a summary sentence to a one-way paseo. He learned that his name had been on a list of those to be executed, but scratched out due to the intervention of the staffing officer of the hospital, who was an influential communist and who demanded in return that he offer his services to a communist surgical unit.
Thus it was that he found himself surgeon to a field hospital near Badajoz, where his most distressing duty was having to witness a mass execution in his capacity as Medical Officer (MO). His nursing assistant and confidante suggested they cross to the other side, but he responded that they were needed more where they were, and that in any case, if they crossed the lines they were bound to be shot by one side or the other. He attended to a stream of casualties from the front line, but was shortly arrested and thrown into a jail in Ocaña, just south of Aranjuez, where he organised a prison hospital, liberating some incarcerated nuns to help him, and soon became free to visit nearby military units. The engineer officer in charge of the maintenance of the ambulances had been a taxi driver at the Palace Hotel in Madrid whom he had often employed, and one evening while they were dining together, the engineer was approached by a group of anarchists who attempted to persuade him, by shooting him through the jaw, that he should issue petrol to them in the line of duty, rather than sell it to them. As Martínez was attending to his wounds, the engineer advised him that he must escape as soon as possible or he would be taken on a paseo.
Escape to “White” Spain
When Franco’s troops crossed to the east bank of the Jarama on the 11th January 1937, the International Brigades bore the brunt of stopping their advance, and it soon became widely known that there was a prison hospital at Ocaña where the head surgeon spoke English. This became designated the main evacuation centre for casualties, and beds were freed up by the simple expedient of shooting the prisoners. Appalled by this measure, and desperate for support in the management of the 400 casualties who arrived daily, Martínez sent cables to the senior MO of the Republican Army, Dr Recatero, fiercely critical of his management and demanding assistance. He was himself accused of criminal neglect, and collapsing onto his bed after leaving theatre at about 3 a.m., he was woken up by Recatero and his henchmen, who had come to execute him. His former taxi driver appeared miraculously on the scene, and relying on the eloquence, so persuasively used against himself, of a pistol barrel, convinced Recatero that he should abandon his mission. The next day, Martínez was driven to Valencia by his rescuer disguised as a casualty, while café radios blared out his name and description. Furnished with a false passport, the British Embassy arranged passage to Marseilles on HMHS Maine; from there, he travelled by train to St Jean de Luz and thence was driven by the American Consul over the border to San Sebastian, where he caught another train to Burgos. After security clearance he enlisted in the Nationalist Army and was sent to the Basque front, where he noted “…then came Guernica, which our German allies erased from the face of the earth in a bombing raid which raised an outcry throughout the world”. Following the campaign in the north, he was posted as senior surgeon to a base hospital in Zaragoza, whence he wrote to a medical friend in the UK:
“To cut a long story short, I broke prison on the 1st of March, with a little outside help and eventually reached Valencia where I literally threw myself into the hands of the British Embassy. Finally I got aboard the HMHS Maine which took me as far as Marseilles, and here I am after nine months of campaign in the north, very happy to be on this side and in the thick of things…Many of our friends of the International Congress of the History of Medicine have been shot by the reds…Please do what you can and help us stamp out communism [e.g. supply surgical instruments]…”(5)
Surgeon with the Nationalists
In Zaragoza, “A team of distinguished and, in some cases, pretty ladies from the aristocracy … would come in every morning in Nursing Auxiliary uniforms, don rubber gloves and face masks, fill syringes with hydrogen peroxide solution, and go from bed to bed washing out the festering flesh and rotting bone.”
All the patients, inherited from his predecessor, were suffering from chronic infection of their wounds. Martínez, who claimed that he was the first [in the world? on the Nationalist side? in that hospital?] to practise “what was later called the ‘Spanish cure’” [as described by Trueta in 1939, but strikingly lacking Trueta’s emphasis on débridement, a grave sin of omission even in a book for laymen], put the limbs in plaster, and found over the next few days that the patients were much happier, with normal temperatures and hearty appetites, but that the distinguished ladies were very unhappy since they had little to do but complain about the smell. One of them reported her dissatisfaction to the medical superintendent, who reported him to the chief MO of the sector, who posted him to a hospital train, “the worst invention of the Spanish Civil War”. It does sound, from his description, as if the wagons had been very poorly converted for use as operating theatres and wards, and that it was the implementation rather than the concept which was at fault. His complaints again earned him a rebuke and a posting, this time to the campaign to recapture the frozen city of Teruel. There, he set up hospital in an abandoned church and had to contend with numerous cases of trench foot and gangrene as well as the wounds inflicted by enemy action. His experience of serious trauma may have prompted him, some months later, to write to his British friend requesting some pitressin, clearly intended either as an established or experimental treatment for shock.
After the war he was sent to Madrid, to food rationing and to a typhus outbreak, to take over a Military Emergency Hospital. The epidemic was due to the release of louse-ridden prisoners from concentration camps, and his former tormentor, Colonel Recatero, was identified in one of these camps, disguised as a “common militiaman” and was charged with the execution of 29 doctors, and would undoubtedly have faced the firing squad himself but managed to elude his captors for long enough to leap from a fourth-floor window with a very similar outcome.
Second World War
The outbreak of the war found him re-established in his practice in Madrid where he was also the MO to the British Embassy and where, in consequence, he was responsible for the medical care of British subjects and other Allied servicemen who had entered Spain as fugitives from Nazi-occupied Europe. The latter were interned in one of several concentration camps, mainly that originally established for Republican prisoners of war in a town near Burgos with the charming name of Miranda de Ebro, which belied its evil reputation; designed for 500 inmates, it eventually held 3,500 in conditions of hunger, poor sanitation and extremes of temperature which were in part, at least, attributable to the economic plight of the country. On his visits there, Martínez took provisions, cigarettes, and irons capable of high temperatures to destroy the lice in the clothing being pressed.
There followed a period from 1940 to 1942 which Martínez dismisses with a tantalising lack of detail in his memoirs, through loyalty to his comrades whose identities he was sworn to keep secret. During this period he and the British Naval Attaché, Captain Alan Hillgarth, conspired to establish a most effective network through which they spirited very substantial numbers of Jews from various nations, and other fugitives including servicemen, agents, and persons of importance to the Allies, through Franco’s pro-Axis, Gestapo-infested Spain to Gibraltar, or Portugal, and freedom. Hillgarth and his colleagues in the Special Operations Executive (SOE) may have been the prime movers, but Martínez, with his contacts and knowledge of the terrain, and motivated partly by anglophilia but mainly by sheer humanity, was the organizing genius behind these proceedings. A great deal of information about his clandestine activities has been unearthed by his daughter, a social anthropologist, and although he never spoke about these exploits, she fortuitously discovered his diary from that era when selling his flat 15 years after his death in 1972. She pursued the revelations it contained, through the interrogation of her mother, then aged 80 but still possessing an excellent memory, as well as through archival sources. Although her mother had known little of the nature of Martínez’ undercover operations at the time, she was able to recall many of the meetings and comings and goings, and, having maintained contact with Hillgarth after her husband’s death, was able to confirm much of the account that her daughter was able to piece together. Another friend who witnessed a number of what were at the time, to her, mysterious events was Consuelo Alan. This lady’s mother, a redoubtable Irish lady called Margarita Taylor, ran a café rather confusingly called “Embassy”, frequented by the élite of Madrid society, and where not only did the conspirators meet discreetly under the very noses of the SS, but where many of these fugitives would be concealed for a night or two before proceeding on their perilous journeys.
It is necessary to digress to outline the situation in Spain during the early years of WWII. It may be too simplistic to say that Franco would never have won the Civil War without all the assistance he received from Mussolini and Hitler(6), but it most certainly helped, and there seems to have been a strong possibility that Spain might have entered WWII on the side of the Axis, in spite of a setback at the historic meeting between Hitler and Franco at Hendaye in October 1940(7) (Preston 1995: 393-400). Franco certainly made anti-semitic noises in some of his speeches(8), but it is far from clear that anti-semitism formed one of his core beliefs (if, indeed, he held any). Meanwhile, it was Churchill’s profound hope that Franco would stay out of the war, and this was the mission he entrusted to the ambassador whom he posted to Madrid, Sir Samuel Hoare. Hillgarth also enjoyed Churchill’s confidence, and received ample funding for the expanded role which he played throughout the war.
In May 1940, the Germans overran Holland and Belgium surrendered, and the following month, Marshal Pétain signed the surrender of France. Tens of thousands of refugees fled over the Pyrenees hoping to cross Spain to freedom. The Spanish authorities were initially very accommodating to all except men of military age, but the Vichy government soon made it difficult to leave France by restricting the issue of exit visas, and the Spanish refused entry to anyone without one. In 1941, under pressure from Germany, the Spanish regulations became progressively more irksome, although they did not distinguish between Jews and non-Jews, but in the summer of 1942 the Vichy government cancelled all exit visas for Jews and without them, they were unable to obtain Spanish transit visas. The result was an increase in the number of illegal “indocumentados” throughout 1940 which accelerated during the subsequent two or three years, and these were liable to indefinite imprisonment which, in the case of men, usually meant the harsh conditions of Miranda de Ebro. During the early years, some refugees were turned back at the border and some were sent back to France after reaching Barcelona (14), but as many as 30,000 Jews may have escaped through Spain during the first half of the war. Assisting refugees of all races from Allied, and other, countries, became a major workload for the British Embassy in Madrid(16), and the ambassador estimated that this assistance was extended to over 30,000 refugees between 1940 and the end of 1944, although somewhat inclined to take the credit for this humanitarian undertaking himself and remaining silent concerning the pivotal roles played by Hillgarth and by Martínez. He also emphasised how very capricious and unpredictable were the responses of the Spanish authorities to the presence of these fugitives within their borders.
The network of which Martínez was the chief architect, made possible the liberation of personnel from Miranda de Ebro, the avoidance of incarceration in that establishment in the first place, and exit from Spain to Portugal. The first of these initiatives he accomplished by taking advantage of his authority as a Spanish doctor and former officer in the Nationalist Army. Observing how delighted the commandant was to get rid of a victim of typhus who was to be admitted to hospital, Martínez promptly found himself with a major, and completely factitious, outbreak of the disease on his hands. Borrowing an ambulance from a friend and colleague, he certified large numbers of the prisoners as being infected, and spirited them away from the camp either to the Embassy, or to Margarita Taylor’s apartment above the tea rooms, or to his own bachelor apartment, where they were concealed, furnished with money, nourishment, clothing and documents, and driven, concealed in a car from the Embassy fleet, on the next stage of their journey to England.
It was highly desirable, if at all possible, to circumvent the hospitality of Miranda de Ebro, and he enabled many of these birds of passage to achieve this by enlisting the help of his chaplain from Civil War days, a Capuchin monk who, aided by a couple of his brethren, provided a safe haven in a little monastery of retreat in Jaca, in the Pyrenees. Martínez also persuaded some of the country innkeepers along the way, to provide secure shelters for his clients, and a report from “Doctor Alonzo” [sic] in his SOE file claims that “The men who enter through Navarre are well looked after by “SABAS” in the Pyrenees. He picks them up, feeds them at his inn and then takes them down to Pamplona to his farm…” From here, they would be driven in an official Embassy vehicle – which attracted, but was theoretically immune to, the suspicions of the Guardia Civil patrols – to Aranda de Duero, between Zaragoza and Valladolid, and thence to Portugal or to Galicia.
Some of the escapees left Spanish soil by reaching Gibraltar and the relative safety of the Royal Navy. Others were concealed in La Portela, Martínez’ rambling, well-hidden finca on the shore of an inlet 10 km from Vigo where he had spent many happy family holidays during his childhood, and where members of his family still lived. Vigo was an important port, where Hillgarth and, almost certainly, Martínez, maintained surveillance over the U-boats and other German shipping which regularly used it for refuelling and provisioning. Martínez had many loyal childhood friends here, and two of these families owned boats which they used to ferry Martínez’clients across the river Miño, which marks the border with Portugal, to Valença. Transport to the river bank was arranged by Martínez, either through the Embassy or using a trusted friend’s taxi, and he would often accompany the fugitives himself on various stages in their hazardous passage across Spain.
Hasty departure for the UK
Vigo was crawling with German agents, and towards the end of 1941, the Gestapo began to close in on Martínez’ nefarious activities. “Through his activities on our behalf he was eventually brulé and had to leave Spain”, as an internal memorandum puts it, and a later letter stated “… as you know [he] did some first rate work body passing in Spain before he became compromised and was sent to England”, so arrangements for his transfer were made. This did not fit in particularly well with his plans to be married to Ramona, the daughter of a Galician doctor, in January 1942, but the marriage went ahead and the imminent departure of the couple on their travels was understood by their friends and relatives to be on honeymoon to an unknown destination. After two days in La Portela, they travelled to Madrid where they stayed a few days in his little apartment with his consulting room in the Salamanca area. Martínez was instructed by Hillgarth to obtain passports, a transaction which itself would arouse suspicion, were it not for the serendipitous honeymoon, and to tell Ramona as little as possible for her own protection. A high-ranking official and irreproachable fascist, a drinking partner of Ramona’s father, duly obliged with the passports. Too late, he discovered that this was more than just a honeymoon: “They can never come back”, he told his friend, “if you want [Martínez] ever to leave prison – or worse!(2)” His attitude seems to have been ambivalent, and he later stoutly rebuffed an angry SS officer who accused him of breaking the Axis “Pact of Steel”. One morning, a black saloon with diplomatic plates and a little Union Jack pennant swept them off to Ciudad Rodrigo, to the west of Salamanca and near the Portuguese border where their passports and salvoconductos secured them an easy transit. From there, they went to a little hotel in Lisbon for a few days, during the course of which they found themselves being wined and dined by some very eminent exiles from the Civil War who were united by only one ideology – the necessity to get rid of Franco (who would outlive them all). And then, one morning brought another official car, a silent trip to a military airfield in Sintra, a waiting War Office transport aircraft, and a flight to snowbound Cardiff.
The Intelligence Officers at the British Embassy in Madrid, meanwhile, thoughtfully told the porter of Martínez’ apartment block that the doctor and his wife would not be returning since they had been killed in a motor accident. The Gestapo knew that there had been no accident, and no bodies, and subjected his nurse, Carmen Zafra, to prolonged questioning. She had been a loyal friend since Civil War days, and Martínez had sent her numerous letters at her home in Barcelona after his defection, via an intermediary correspondent in London, a member of the staff of the Wellcome Foundation(5).
Once they had settled in London, there were three main strands in Martínez’ life. He and Ramona enjoyed a happy, and busy, social life, in spite of the air raids. They were made very welcome, and appear to have received tickets to plays and concerts from official sources. Among their friends were many exiles from the Spanish Civil War, including Juan Negrín, Prime Minister of the Republic, and Col. Casado, the officer who had finally surrendered Madrid. When meeting someone new, one did not enquire which side they had been on, but it usually became rapidly apparent. Some idea of Martínez’ views was revealed in a form in his SOE file, in which he states “Am very interested in… a Spanish Restoration on democratic lines”, which may tell us more about his loyalty to Queen Ena than about his politics. His SOE superior noted approvingly that “Unlike most other Spaniards arriving in this country he has apparently no Red tendencies”.
Having qualified in the UK, there was no problem with registration, and he worked in a surgical team at Queen Mary’s Hospital, Roehampton. His main interest was in thoracic surgery, and he spent a period as Senior Surgical Assistant to Mr (later Sir) Clement Price Thomas at the Brompton.
He continued to remain in close contact with the Intelligence Service, the Foreign Office (FO), and Captain Hillgarth and, acting from humanitarian motives, managed to procure considerable supplies of vaccines and other medical necessities which they, acting from political motives, distributed in Spain. “I really believe this is one of the best bits of propaganda we could have done”, a jubilant FO contact recorded. Most of his escape routes continued to operate in Spain without him. He could not be certain, however, that his own personal involvement in the conflict was over, especially when he received a visitor one morning who refused to give his name. He did, however, divulge the information that the Germans had a force of 30 Divisions waiting at the foot of the Pyrenees, ready to march through Spain, take Gibraltar, and take up position in North Africa – and Martínez’ military experience in the Civil War, together with his perfect English and unrivalled knowledge of both countries, would make him the ideal candidate to be parachuted in (or taken to a Spanish port) to undertake subversive action behind the lines. He would command a team of five others, under the name of Lieutenant Marlín. To this proposition Martínez agreed, but only if Franco entered the war, and to this, the FO agreed. The group travelled to a converted farm in Scotland, by the name of Camus Daruch, for intensive training in the dark arts of sabotage and unarmed combat, which he did not particularly enjoy, and for some fairly intensive whiskey-tasting, which he enjoyed very much. “This student”, the Officer Commanding reported, “will probably prove an extremely useful operative.” Shortly afterwards, however, the situation changed, the Divisions were deployed elsewhere, and his contacts with the FO ceased.
Return to Madrid
When Germany capitulated, Martínez’ first thought was to return to his native land, for despite his anglophilia, he was a bon viveur who missed the red wine, the corrida, flamenco, and grilled sardines(2). They waited a few months, with the result that their daughter was born a British citizen, and returned in 1946. He became Director of Thoracic Surgery at the San José and Santa Adela charitable Red Cross Hospital and visiting consultant at King George V Hospital, Gibraltar (in spite of the dispute over the sovereignty of the Rock), and performed the first resections for bronchogenic carcinoma in Spain, as well as publishing a booklet on thoracic emergencies. He maintained contacts in the UK, including his friend at the Wellcome as well as another longstanding acquaintance, Sir Robert Macintosh, who had been appointed to the first chair in anaesthesia in this country, at Oxford, in 1937, and who had been invited to San Sebastian during the Civil War to anaesthetise for an eminent visiting American reconstructive plastic and maxillo-facial surgeon, Joseph Eastman Sheehan. Martínez had met Macintosh at that time, and on the latter’s occasional post-WWII visits to Madrid, they would spend time together (mainly in restaurants!)(19). Being bilingual, he was very much in demand from British and American hotel guests, and his life seems to have enjoyed a well-earned respite from the turmoil it had been thrown into by the raging political and military conflicts which blighted the 21st century. He died in 1972, and although he remained bound by the Official Secrets Act, which he had signed in 1943(17), and carried his secrets with him to the grave, he had had the satisfaction of receiving an award from the Polish government in exile for the leading role he had played in the rescue of at least 200 Polish Jews, and, in 1947, the King’s Medal for Courage in the Cause of Freedom. As a telegram from Madrid stated in his file, “…he is a most valuable man, completely with us, and…we owe him a great deal.”
The tale of Dr Eduardo Martínez Alonso is told here because he has received so little of the acclaim which he deserves in this country, although his daughter is achieving considerably more recognition for him in Spain; his memoirs received a favourable, but extraordinarily unperceptive review in the Lancet. He undoubtedly saved more lives through his undercover operations than he did through his surgical operations, although he clearly saved the lives and limbs of many casualties from the battlefields of the Spanish Civil War. He may be said to have acted as a doctor in both regards, because he owed his humanitarian ideals to his profession and to the immense suffering which he had witnessed. It also needs to be emphasised that not all who served under Franco were evil, and not all who opposed him were saintly, in an era in which the Spanish government seems determined to air-brush the dictator out of history, and in which a strongly pro-Republic account of the SCW is also purveyed throughout this country. A concluding observation is, that being bilingual, bicultural, and fiercely loyal to another nation as well as one’s own, may open up unexpected opportunities to be of service to humanity and may steer one’s life into uncharted and often choppy waters.

1.  Martínez Alonso E. Adventures of a Doctor. London: Robert Hale, 1962
2.  Martínez de Vicente P. Embassy y la Inteligencia de Mambrú. Madrid: Velecío, 2003
3.  Martínez de Vicente P. Personal Communication, 2009
4.  Knoblaugh HE. Correspondent in Spain.  London: Sheen and Ward, 1937: 85-88
5.  Martínez Alonso E. Correspondence 1938: Archive WA/HMM/CO/Alp/15: Box 69, Wellcome    
6.  Thomas H. The Spanish Civil War. London: Penguin, (1961) 3rd edn. 1977: 940
7.  Preston P. Franco. London: HarperCollins (1993) Fontana edn. 1995: 393-400
8.  Ibid: 347, 957
9. Smyth D. Diplomacy and Strategy of Survival: British Policy and Franco’s Spain 1940-        41,Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986: 26
10. Payne S.G Franco and Hitler, New Haven: Yale University Press, 2008: 69
11. Smyth D. Op. cit: 28
12. Smyth D. Hillgarth, Alan Hugh (1899-1978), rev. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004; online edition, January 2008 <> accessed 9 March 2009
13. Avni H. Spain, the Jews, and Franco, trans. Martíneznuel Shimoni, Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America, 1982: 72-79
14.  Ibid: 180
15. Ibid: 91
16. Hoare S.J.G. Ambassador on Special Mission, London: Collins, 1946: 226-238
17. Records of Special Operations Executive, National Archives, Kew, file HS 9/26/5
18. Alvárez-Sierra J. (ed.) Diccionario de Autoridades Médicas, Madrid: Editora Nacional, 1963: 317
19 Macintosh R.R. Correspondence 1946: Archive 1946 PP/RRM/C/11, Wellcome Library, London
20. Book Reviews Lancet 1962; I: 1106

a. Another term used in this context was “outfiltration” (although medical readers would undoubtedly favour “exfiltration”).
b.  Urgencias Torácicas, Madrid: Gráficas Udina, 1959

Legend to Figure
Figure 1. Eduardo Martínez Alonso in the uniform of a Capitán Médico in the Nationalist Army]

Once again The Aliens have come up trumps, our own Oskar Schindler

King George Medal for Courage
 in the Cause of Freedom
Polish Gold Cross of Merit

Eduardo passed away in Vigo in 1972

   Dr Eduardo Martinez Alonso




Dr Alejandro Juan Martinez

Born two years later than Eduardo, Alejandro followed in his brother's footsteps and qualified as doctor at Liverpool University. The 1938 register shows he was a G.P in Sefton Park and his Dad and Uncle were still at the Consul.

He got married in 1937 and at some time after WW2 they moved to London. A book entitled "The Flamencos of Cádiz Bay" published by Gerald Howson in 1965 shows how accommodating the Martinez family in Vigo were.

Alejandro passed away 1978 in Lambeth, London

Dr Alejandro Jaun Martinez



Dr E.S.Miller

Ernest Spencer Miller was born in Liverpool, 1886 where his father was a Solicitor in Princes Park. He lived in an impressive end terrace on Peel St with his two brothers and two sisters, not forgetting the all important house servant.

[Google streetview]
Ernest studied Medicine at the University of Liverpool and after qualifying in 1910 went on to complete the D.P.H (Dr of  Public Health) and became Medical Practitioner at Rice Lane Workhouse. Gaining his Doctor of Medicine(M.D) from London in 1914 it was only three weeks after the declaration of war on the 28th July that he was thrown into the fray of France with the British Expeditionary Force. He served in the Royal Army Medical Corps throughout the conflict and rose to the rank of Captain.


After the war he joined the reformed Aliens (now the suitably renamed Sefton Rugby Club) with a number of other Doctors, see Sefton Doctors

Played 1920-21





For the major portion of the game at Victoria Park, where Sefton were the visitors, there was only one team in it. In the first half Sefton were rarely out of their own territory. This was not so much the result of Southport's play as of the inefficiency of Sefton. Scott was the first to get over, but the goal-kick was from an extremely difficult angle, and J. Twynne was not to be blamed for failing. Before the interval, Scott and Guest scored between the posts, and Gifford easily added the extra points. Sefton did better in the second half, Bellamy grounding the ball behind the uprights. Miller, however, placed wide. Irving put Southport further ahead with a drop goal, but Gifford and Twynne failed from tries by Walker and Buck. In all departments Southport were the cleverer side. Result: Southport, 23; Sefton 3.

Daily Post 13/12/1920

In 1921 he was made President of  the Royal Naval Recruiting Headquarters.

Throughout the inter-war years his career progressed admirably:-

It would seem Dr Miller was quite a religious person and there are reports of him being a Quaker. This might explain his 1907 passenger record of a trip to Philadelphia where there is a large Quaker congregation.

[1920 First conference of Quakers worldwide - A proposal was suggested at Yearly Meeting 1916 for a post-war conference "of all those who bear the name of Friend" with the intention of "giving full consideration to the deeply important subject of how to secure a general and lasting peace". In November 1916, Meeting for Sufferings appointed a committee to begin arrangements and considerations for a Peace Conference of all Quakers. The World Conference was proposed in 1917, and during World War I preparations to facilitate the gathering continued between British Quakers in London and American Quakers in Richmond and Philadelphia.] History of Quakers
After enduring WW2 and being actively engaged in WW1 it looks like he was deeply troubled by  his spirituality and in the early 1950's he rented a room out at his family home and practice to a Liverpool Community following the Baha’i faith, a Persian religion founded by Baha'ullah (1817-1892). Their motto is "The well-being of mankind, its peace and security are unattainable unless and until its unity is firmly established."
His interest may have been seeded as early as 1912 when the founders son visited Liverpool, the Echo reports his arrival colourfully on the White Star Line ship Celtic "he has a strange, striking and picturesque personality. Habited in the the dress of a Persian learned or cultured class - a white fez on his head, a flowing chocolate under garment, surmounted by a cloak of blueish tinge - all eyes on the Stage were at once riveted upon him as he peered over the ship's side into the rain and gloom of Liverpool."
Staying at the Adelphi Hotel he was invited to address the Theosophical Society and to preach at the Unitarian Church Pembroke Chapel. He then proceeded to London and Paris.

[Timing his arrival with the assembly of the Balkan Peace Conference, Abdul Baha, the "Prophet of Peace," and the founder (founders son)of the Bahai faith has left America for this country and is due to arrive in a few days. This venerable Persian mystic is the leader of a religious movement which has gained three million adherents during the last few years. He has spent forty years of his life in a Turkish prison. The keynote of the faith is "Peace".]

The election of the first Local Spiritual Assembly of Liverpool took place at 19 Canning Street, Liverpool 8, on the evening of April 14th 1950.
He became a Bahá’í in September 1951 and at great sacrifice left his medical practice in 1955 to pioneer in Cardiff where he started work at a local hospital.

[Photo Liverpool Baha'i Community]

Dr Miller passed away in Aughton, Lancashire in 1976

1914 Star, British War and Victory Medals
R.A.M.C. Cap Badge

Dr Ernest Spencer Miller M.D Ch.B M.B D.L.O



Dr G.H.Darlington

George Hellyar Darlington(GHD) was born 1892 in Liverpool and lived over the water near Seacombe where he attended Wallasey Grammar. He started his medical degree at Liverpool University in 1909 and must have aquainted with fellow Aliens Jaffir Rumjahn and John McGibbon who brought him down to Clubmoor for a few games in the 1912-13 season.
He gained his M.B and Ch.B qualifications with honours in 1914, just in time to unleash his skills in the Great War.

GHD was sent to France as a Lieutenant with the RAMC in June 1915, his brother Harold had left just a few days earlier with the 8th Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers (sadly KIA 1916 at the Battle of Loos, see cwgc).

Articles in the Lancet and British Medical Journal plot his career within the RAMC and on the 23rd November 1918(post armistice) he had been promoted to Temp/Major "specially employed" and sent back to Blighty to deal with another kind of explosion.

It turns out GHD was as specialist in Urology and Venereal Disease and an explosion in cases of VD required his services. It is fairly obvious that after the armistice the troops had fraternized quite gainfully with local bar girls in France and Belgium. He returned to become C/O of Chiseldon Hospital near Swindon. This was a secure establishment surrounded by high walls and barbed wire to keep the patients in and stop them infecting the local townspeople, read the "Bad Boys Camp".

Local papers 1917 - escaped patients prosecuted

He took his Diploma in Public Health(D.P.H) in 1918 and his military commission came to an end in July 1919.

Returning to civilian life in Liverpool GHD continued in his chosen speciality and was Clinical Assistant and House Surgeon at the Venereal Department  in the Royal Infirmary.

A total change in career arrived with a new opportunity in Leeds when he became Medical Officer at Shadwell School for Boys, one of the "Industrial" type establishments for wayward kids. A number of Aliens also took up teaching posts within Industrial Schools - J.D.Johnstone, W.J.Trist, R.A.O'Donnell and J.S.Lloyd.
Shadwell School, despite its austere regime excelled in athletics, swimming, gymnastics and boxing in inter-school and inter-county competitions.

By the 1930's GHD had joined a Medical Practice in Chapel Allerton, "Darlington and Carr" was his last known position.

A Few Snippets

Doctor injured in 1934.

Critical of the number of GP's in practice -1946.

1915 Star, British War and Victory Medals
Reverse of his 1915 Star
   R.A.M.C. Cap Badge

George passed away in Chapel Allerton, Leeds 1956

Dr George Hellyar Darlington M.B Ch.B D.P.H



Dr J.E.G.McGibbon

John Edward George McGibbon was born 1893 in Liverpool, the son of Dr John McGibbon of Edinburgh and lived in Durning Road, Edge Hill with his brother and two sisters. He was educated at Liverpool College and the University of Liverpool and graduated M.B., B.S. from London University in 1917. He paraded in the ranks of the university section of the Field Ambulance in early 1914 but these volunteers were soon ordered back to complete their medical studies, and he was later commisioned a temporary Surgeon Lieutenant  in the Royal Navy.
Demobilized in 1919 he joined the reformed Aliens (now the suitably renamed Sefton Rugby Club) with a number of other Doctors and entered consulting and hospital practice at St Helens, Bootle General and the Providence hospital. 

Played 1920-21

During the inter-war years he was associated with the Royal Southern, the Eye and Ear Infirmary and Alder Hey Childrens. In 1927 he gained his D.L.O (Diploma in Laryngology and Otology).

He entered the Auxiliary Air Force as a flying officer in 1939 and volunteered again as war broke out, but this time commissioned in the RAF as a Flight Lieutenant. He was placed in medical charge of the personnel serving the balloon barrage over Liverpool. The balloons of No.921 West Lancashire Squadron were a familiar sight preventing bombers from attacking below 5,000 feet. Liverpool also experimented with 220 "free balloons" that exploded when there was contact with the wires.

[1939 Liverpool]
Despite the blackout being enforced, German planes were easily able to find Liverpool from the Welsh coast, navigating by radio beams and the lights of neutral Dublin. On the 29th November 1940, during the heaviest air raid to date, a parachute mine hit the Junior Instruction Centre in Durning Road where he once lived, collapsing the shelter below and crushing many of its 300 occupants, I'm pretty sure Dr McGibbon would have been involved in the aftermath. 
His special knowledge was soon applied to investigate such problems in aviation medicine as otitic baratrauma, rupture to the middle ear vessels during descent in aircraft and also seen in divers. In the Journal of Laryngology and Otology of January 1942 he produced an article on Aviation Pressure Deafness.

For his war services he was awarded an O.B.E in the 1944 New Year Honours (the Echo "M.B.E" headline is obviously incorrect)

After WW2  he was made a vice-president of the British Medical Association and had many professional activities with the United Liverpool Hospitals. 

After his retirement he was pleased to be made honorary consultant and jointly made a comprehensive textbook on diagnostic bronchoscopy. In due time he succeeded in lectureship in the department of laryngology at Liverpool University and as a teacher of nurses in the Royal Southern hospital., his kindness to the younger trainees was much appreciated.

WW1  British War and Victory Medals
Order of the British Empire

It did not surprise his colleagues that Dr McGibbon had died within a few hours of his last work on October 25th 1959

Dr John Edward George McGibbon OBE M.B B.S D.L.O



Dr Cyril Taylor

[Sefton 1XV 1948-49]

Dr Cyril Taylor-a life of commitment

By Gideon Ben-Tovim

There are some people with so much energy, so much vitality, with such strength of personality that it is almost impossible to think that they are no longer with us-nor is it possible to do justice to their lives in a few words.

Cyril Taylor was such a person, a man of extraordinary drive, a medical visionary , a life-long socialist ,a unique individual with enormous charm, warmth and commitment. He was one of this city's finest citizens, making a profound mark on the lives of many .

Cyril was born 79 years ago in New Brighton to orthodox Jewish parents, and was brought up with his sister Doreen (who now lives in Australia) in Wallasey where the family lived over his father's shop near the Town Hall .His grandparents fled the pogroms of Eastern Europe to settle on Merseyside , the family name changing from Zadesky to Taylor in line with the profession of Cyril's father, who eventually moved into the wireless business after become bankrupt through the rise of the Montague Burton off the peg suits.

Some of you will know Cyril's grand-father's house in Falkner Square, the beautiful white mansion on the corner of Catharine St where Cyril would recount sliding along the polished hallway floors or attending the more sombre reading of his grand-father's will.

Cyril became active in the Jewish youth movement, attending Zionist habonim camps, but he moved away from Zionism and towards the international socialism of the Communist movement in his late teen age years, which were in the heavily political 1930s with the real threat of fascism over-shadowing Europe.

Hearing a talk on the Spanish civil war as a sixth-former at Wallasey Grammar was an important influence in Cyril's political development.

He trained as a medical student at Liverpool University during the war years, graduating in 1943.He recounted that as a student he was sent to Durning Rd where an air-raid shelter had received a direct hit, to try and give medical aid.

He was based at Alder Hey hospital, which had been transformed into a medical receiving centre and treated some of the war wounded returning from Dunkirk.

He gained a reputation for eating his sandwiches during dissection demonstrations and kept a pickled leg under his bed, showing an early interest in orthopaedics!

It was at this time that he developed his great belief in the necessity of a national health service, free at the point of need.

Later he was to be part of a delegation of socialist doctors who lobbied Nye Bevan, urging him not to give way to the doctors who would later, proverbially, have their "mouths stuffed with gold".

Cyril's involvement in the Communist Party was for him an influence of the utmost importance ,and he remained an active and committed member from his student days at University until he left the Communist Party in disillusionment, as did so many after the events of1956. His letter of resignation was to him a most significant document, which he shared with Marge and myself many years later.

He joined the Labour Party, of which he remained an active member up to the end, serving as a Councillor for the Granby Ward from 1965 to 1980,including a major term as Chair of Social Services. He was an extremely dedicated and effective Chair, developing a number of new initiatives to support the poorer and more disadvantaged members of the community.

He was a pioneer of joined up thinking, arguing for housing, social services and health to be considered together, encouraging the early growth of housing associations, fighting tirelessly and often successfully against slum landlords at rent tribunals to bring down his constituents' rent levels .

He established the Liverpool Association for the Disabled, and made sure that elderly people had free access to telephone lines. He knew that the ill-health he witnessed every day was fundamentally related to poverty, and that inequality had to be fought in every sphere of life.

As he himself wrote," Both as a medical student and later as a doctor ,it had always seemed entirely appropriate for me to be part of the broad political struggle to change the unequal society for one in which every citizen would have an equal opportunity for education, for the development of their talents and the right to work for their own benefit and that of society".

As well as a tireless political campaigner, Cyril was a rounded human being with a rich personal ,social and cultural life.

After the war, he served as a Major in the army ,including a period in charge of the British Hospital in Khartoum. On his return, he was politically victimised in several jobs, including being sacked by the Liverpool Shipping Federation.

So he then decided to set up his own practice, which he did in Sefton Drive, calling on all his political comrades and allies to join his list so that he could bring in some income.

Sefton Drive , Cyril's home for many years with his wife Pat and his children Jeff and Susie, was not only a power-house of the political left, where many a resolution was crafted, many a meeting fixed, and many an important medical, social or political project hatched.

It was also a house full of people , friends and relatives , and generally an open house for many a person in need-Cyril and Pat were amongst the first to welcome Chilean refugees into their home after the brutal military coup of 1973.

The house was a cultural centre too, the Unity Theatre( whose leading lady Norah Rushton is with us today ) storing their costumes ,props and scenery in the basement, and using the garden for their rehearsals.

It was a house full of Cyril's jokes and banter , including the cancerous pickled lung kept on the dinner table to try to ensure that Geoff and Susie didn't take up smoking cigarettes.

And of course it was the surgery-the most unique surgery imaginable, with political magazines to read whilst waiting, political posters and cartoons on the wall to look at, and the tingling anticipation of an encounter with Cyril: one quick look of his penetrating gaze and he could see there was nothing life-threatening to worry about.

Then he'd say "well there's nothing I can do of course that will make any difference, but I suppose you want me to give you something"…he'd scribble out the prescription, and get on to the real business-the political conversation .

Of course "conversation" is perhaps an exaggeration- it was more that Cyril would hold forth in his inimitable manner about the current issues of the day ,the latest iniquities of the Conservative Government or the international news , add a bit of outrageous local political gossip, tell a joke or three, until the dreaded "right-ee-ho" came and the ten minutes of magic were at an end.

There was also the sport-Cyril had been a great Rugby player in his youth,playing for Liverpool University as a prop in the front row and he continued to play for Sefton Rugby Club until he was 40.

And then there was the tennis, where he would declare that he had a line with the almighty who always made sure that the weather was benign-at least most of the time.

In the final phase of his life, Cyril entered a new relationship with Sylvia, and together they played a very active role in health politics. During this period Cyril served as the President of the Socialist Medical Health Association, continuing his life-long campaign both for a quality national health service,and for social policies that linked inequalities to health. Earlier this year he was awarded the prestigious Duncan medal in recognition of his lifetime work in the field of primary health care.

After retiring not long after 65,something he advocated as part of his anti-elitist views that doctors should be treated like the rest of society, he of course could not resist doing locums for as long as his health allowed it. From 1988 when he set up home with Sylvia in Wavertree until July 1999 when he decided to hang up his stethoscope, he continued doing regular locums in 25 different surgeries in Liverpool and the Wirral.

He enthusiastically supported Sylvia in her activities at Greenham Common and her involvement in Womens Aid for Peace, where he ensured that medical supplies were made available to take out to the former Yugoslavia.

He maintained an active involvement in the Labour Party, which he continued to do after moving with Sylvia to West Kirby two years ago where they quickly set about helping to sort out the Constituency Party.

One of the pleasures of his final years was reconnecting with his many cousins, attending many Friday evening meals that became known as "the "cousinings."

His life had ,in a sense, turned full circle ."I'm Cyril from the Wirral" he would joke, and in fact he derived great pleasure from striding around the West Kirby Marina in all weathers, and in finding many pleasurable walks.

In our final conversation, Cyril told me of a walk where he had retraced his boyhood journeys ,including from his home to his school; he even mentioned he had looked for the house where my own father had been a GP in Wallasey.

As well as the importance to him of his relationship to his children , Cyril gained great enjoyment from his first grand-child, and also from Sylvia's children and grand-children.

We will all have our own memories of Cyril. He is an indelible part of all our lives, and Sylvia would like you to think that some of the 79 red roses that represent the years of Cyril's life also signify special memories of your own relationship with this extraordinary man.

His life of commitment and vision has been an inspiration and a joy to us all. He has made an enormous contribution to the city, to the health,the life-chances and the hopes particularly of the more disadvantaged sections of the community .We will truly not see his like again.



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