MILITARY GENERA SERVICE 1793, CLASPS, MARTINIQUE, GUADALOUPE "M. CATHCART, ASST. SURGN., YORK LT. INFY. VOLUNTEERS"; ARMY OF INDIA 1799, CLASP, AVA "MARTIN CATHCART, SUP. SURGN TO THE FORCES"
Martin Cathcart was born at Magherafelt, Ireland on 23 March 1774 and having past through his preliminary medical studies, part of which were pursued under the celebrated Sir Astley Cooper, he decided to join the army in January 1808. During his 35 year service, Cathcart would serve with the York Light Infantry Volunteers during the campaigns in the West Indies, 1808 -15. He took part in the capture of both Martinique and Guadeloupe, initially as Acting Surgeon in the 6th West India Regiment and later as Surgeon of the Grenadier Battalion which had been formed for the capture of Guadeloupe. After continuing service with the York Light Infantry until 1817, he transferred to the 5/60th Rifles, before joining the 38th Foot in May 1818. Serving with this Regiment at the Cape of Good Hope until 1822, he next served in Bengal before serving throughout the Burma War of 1824-6. During the first campaign, he served senior Medical Officer with the advance of the army of Ava; the Superintending Surgeon to the Forces, Cathcart stating that he was additionally; “ present at every action and storming party from the landing of the troops on the Burmese territory in May 1824 until the Army was withdrawn in May 1826”. For his services during the campaign, he was publically noticed by the Director General of the Medical Department.
Returning to Bengal, in 1828, Cathcart was instrumental in setting up experimental sanitary depots in the Himalaya Mountains. These to care for sick soldiers, rather than send them back to England for treatment, an experiment that was a great success. Returning to Meerut in November that year, he returned to the Himalaya’s in early 1830, continuing to improve the sanitary depots, receiving thanks for his efforts from the Commander-in-Chief. His health having suffered greatly due to his exertions, in late 1831, he returned to England and in November 1832 was appointed Surgeon to the 7th Dragoon Guards. During his service with the Regiment in Ireland, on cholera breaking out at Timologue, County Cork, he exerted himself so much in allaying the dreadful scourge, that he received the tanks of Sir Thomas Arbuthnot, then commanding that district………………..
Condition NEF, first part of naming on AoI double registered as issued. Two lovely condition medals and new to the market, having come direct from the family. Sold with research and rolls on CD. A superb and extremely rare pair of medals awarded to a Surgeon with an outstanding service.