Thursday, 28 August 2008

Cholera and cricket

If you are searching for an entry point into the Medical History of British India project I can recommend the Indian Medical Review. Written in 1938 by Major-General E.W.C. Bradfield, Director-General of the Indian Medical Service, this volume covers hospitals and dispensaries, medical education, tuberculosis, maternity, medico-legal work, medical societies, pharmacy and drugs control. There is a fascinating section on medical research in India, describing work carried out on key diseases such as malaria, cholera and leprosy, and also giving the histories and activities of medical institutions, some of which feature in the Medical Colleges collection. The Indian Medical Review features at the start of this collection and is at shelfmark IP/QB.3. In his leisure time I have discovered that Earnest William Charles Bradfield was a keen cricketer, so not only did he contribute to the British Empire's spread of medical practices but also to its sporting ones. He played for the Europeans (India) team from 1906-1923 in several Bombay and Madras Presidency matches. I would love to see some footage or photographs of those games!

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

New Lives for Old

There's a great new book published by the National Archives (Kew) about poor children sent overseas to all corners of our old Empire (Australia, New Zealand, Canada). These kids were from workhouses and slums, sent by charities and other organisations to have a (hopefully) better life elsewhere. It's full of first-hand accounts, pictures and letters and is a moving story about a practice which didn't end until the second world war.

You can read it here at the Library, shelfmark GRO.2008.4.1.