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Indian Medical Service

These pages provide guidance to family historians on how to use sources from the India Office Records such as occupational descriptions or types of documents (wills, pensions or ecclesiastical records for example).

Bond of John Hamilton

Bond entered in to by two securities for the faithful performance by John Hamilton of his duties as a surgeon in India, 31 December 1789. IOR: 0/1/1, f.87. © The British Library Board.

Surgeons and Veterinary Officers of the East India Company and Indian Army, 1708-1947

  • Pre-1804 appointments of East India Company surgeons are scattered in Court Minutes (B series), Committee of Correspondence records (D series), General Correspondence (E series), Factory Records (G series), and Proceedings (P series).
  • Bonds and agreements for East India Company officials in the Biographical series (O/1/1-79), 1771-1827, also include indentures of the appointments of surgeons with names and addresses.
  • Assistant Surgeons' and Surgeons' Papers 1804-1914: L/MIL/9/358-408, L/MIL/9/413-427. Copy of index Z/L/MIL/9/5 shelved in the Asian & African Studies Reading Room.
  • Series of Veterinary Surgeons' Papers 1826-59: L/MIL/9/433 including petitions, certificates of age, testimonials and related correspondence.
  • For Service Records of surgeons, see D G Crawford Roll of the Indian Medical Service 1615-1930 (Ref:OIR355.345). Several other compilations on a similar theme are shelved in the same area of the Reading Room.

Indian Subordinate Medical Services, 1812-1945

The staff of the Subordinate Medical Service, set up in Bengal and Madras in 1812, were mainly recruited locally in India.

  • Members of the Subordinate Medical Service are recorded in the published army lists, L/MIL/17/2-4, Bengal from 1819, Madras from 1829, Bombay from 1832. From 1889 to 1947, all members of the Subordiante Medical Department with the rank of warrant officer or above are recorded in the published Indian Army List in the Reading Room (Ref:OIR355.33).

Nursing Services, 1887-1947

  • Indian Army Nursing Services
    Appointments and registers of candidates 1887-1920: L/MIL/9/430-432. Complementary series of application papers: L/MIL/7/11617-11803. Nursing sisters and higher ranks are recorded in the Indian Army List from 1891. Staff Nurses are recorded from 1926. Pension payment books to retired nurses in the UK 1950-1955: L/AG/21/13/97. Gratuity payments for nurses released in the UK 1946-47: L/AG/20/39/1.
  • Voluntary Aid Detachments:
    These were recruited in the UK for service in India during the Second World War: Service records can be found in L/MIL/14, Personal Files. These files are not open to the public yet, but career information can be supplied upon request. Gratuity payments in the UK 1946-47: L/AG/20/41/5-6. Payment books on appointment 1944-45: L/AG/20/41/1-4.
  • Women's Auxiliary Corps:
    Officers are recorded in the Indian Army List Apr 1943-Aug 1947. Gratuity payments in the UK 1946-47: L/AG/20/38/1-2. Release leave accounts for members of Burma branch 1946-47 can be found in L/AG/20/40/1.