Medical Practitioners

Dr Lovell Byass first surgeon 1836-38  click here

Dr James Benjamin Harvey 1839-1842  click here

Surgeon William H. Leigh. (1837) of the barque South Australia.

KANGAROO ISLAND (1925, May 16). The Mail (Adelaide, SA : 1912 - 1954), , p. 2.

Visiting Doctors.

HOG BAY. February 23 1870. We have seen an extract from the Bunyip respecting the visit of Dr. Lewis, for the purpose of vaccinating the children on Kangaroo Island. The reason the Doctor found a great deal of apathy on the part of parents was because a sickly family had just been vaccinated, and Dr. Lewis was short of vaccine matter. Although I live at Hog Bay, and am within 300 yards of the landing, I did not know the Doctor had been here until he had gone, as he only stayed three hours, and then he came like a general going into action without ammunition, for he was short of vaccine matter. Dr. Lewis says he was very unfavorably impressed with the inhabitants, and I am very glad to hear it. He is a doctor, and there is no chance of his getting a living on the island, because the place is too healthy. I may here mention that he was asked to examine the school at Hog Bay, but he declined.

COUNTRY NEWS. (1870, March 10). The South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1858 - 1889), p. 3.

Because of the small and scattered population  - it having risen from 170 in 1860, to 700 in 1901 for the whole of Kangaroo Island and their general good health,  there was no living, unassisted, for a doctor. 

However there were very real problems when a serious accident or illness occurred, and the only available treatment was in Adelaide, and the weekly boat had left. 

The small cemeteries at Harvey's Return  and Middle River homestead and others bear witness to many domestic tragedies. In emergencies recourse was had to ketches and fishing boats with the attendant risks and delays. In April 1892, Doctor L. Lewis asked the Council to guarantee him an annual income of £40, but his request was refused.

Kelly, D.G. 1988, People Places and Serious Business, p. 14.

Sir—It appears strange to me and many more that a doctor should come on a flying visit to Kangaroo Island without any one knowing he is coming. He stopped a few days at Hog Bay, same at Kingscote, then went away for good. If he comes to Kangaroo Island to vaccinate the children he ought to go where the children are. On the north coast there are six, and on the south side of the island there are doable that number of children to vaccinate. It is very hard for parents that wish to have their  children vaccinated to hear that a doctor has been and gone without giving people any chance to see him. Let us have fair play. The doctor coming and going in the manner he did put me in mind of a man going to look tor work and praying to God he won't find any. Who is to blame, the doctor or those that sent him ? 

I am, Sir, &c., JOHN BOXER.
Cape Cassino, Kangaroo Island, November 28.

MEDICAL ATTENDANCE AT KANGAROO ISLAND. (1879, December 20). Adelaide Observer (SA : 1843 - 1904), p. 10.  

Dr Alfred Shaw a Presbyterian doctor 1883 - Jean Nunn.. " With him [Mr J W Daw], resides for the present Dr. Shaw, the Health Officer of the island, who is a settler of only a few weeks' standing. It was certainly high time that medical aid was brought within reach of the inhabitants, for though the climate is wonderfully healthy, such accidents as broken bones do occur sometimes, and the transport of the patient to Adelaide was no trifle..."   

A FEW DAYS IN KANGAROO ISLAND. (1883, July 17). South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), p. 1 Supplement: SUPPLEMENT TO THE SOUTH AUSTRALIAN REGISTER..  


APPOINTMENTS. (1883, June 29). South Australian Register(Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), p. 7.

"We have Dr. Shaw stationed on the island. He is the Government Surgeon, and will be a great boon to us, as we were sadly in want of a medical man. "

CURRAMULKA, June 18. (1883, June 23). South Australian Register (Adelaide, SA : 1839 - 1900), p. 3 Supplement: Supplement to the South Australian Register.

Dr Kelly White  Aug 1884 - 1885?

After much noise and many applications for a medical man Dr. Kelly White, at one time in Moonta for a short time, has commenced practise on the Island, without the assistance of the Government subsidy granted to his predecessor. The need of a reliable doctor has been keenly evidenced of late, three or four very sudden and painful deaths having occurred. As a rule little sickness has been known beyond opthalmia, and ordinary colds, the latter being very prevalent at present. 

NOTES ON KANGAROO ISLAND. (1884, August 22). Yorke's Peninsula Advertiser (SA : 1878 - 1922), , p. 3.

Death has been busy here during the last two months, and illness is very prevalent. Dr. Kelly White has arrived, hut a great deal of uncertainty exists with regard to the intentions of the Government as to the appointment of a resident doctor. The residents will petition for the appointment of a medical officer, and will doubtless nominate Dr. White.

QUEENSCIFFE, AUGUST 17. (1884, August 23). South Australian Weekly Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1881 - 1889), , p. 22.

The locals resolved to pay him a retainer of 100 pounds.

MEDICAL OFFICES FOR KANGAROO ISLAND. (1884, October 21). The South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1858 - 1889), , p. 5.

See also a scandal, and a scandal averted

Serious Charge Against a Medical Man. (1884, November 19). The Express and Telegraph (Adelaide, SA : 1867 - 1922), , p. 5
AN ACCUSED MEDICAL MAN. (1884, November 22). South Australian Weekly Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1881 - 1889), , p. 4.

But the patient speaks out, and mud sticks:

TO THE EDITOR. (1884, December 9). The South Australian Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1858 - 1889), , p. 7.

Dr. Bruehl 15 Feb 1899 (visiting) 

TWO SUDDEN DEATHS. (1899, February 22). The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931), p. 7.

Mr. J. H. Krinks, [John Henry Krinks] surgeon dentist, made periodical visits in 1907-8, staying at the Ozone Hotel.

Dr James Robert Stevenson (1862-1945) 16 March 1908 

A DOCTOR FOR K.I. (1910, May 14). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 4.

(Public meeting for guarantors for a doctor on KI - Nov 1910) 

DOCTOR FOR KANGAROO ISLAND. (1910, November 12).The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 4.

KINGSCOTE, November 14.-Dr. Stevenson has settled at Kingscote, and is practising his profession in Kangaroo Island. The residents of the whole district are guaranteeing the doctor £450 per annum, with the aid of the Government subsidy, which is £150. The doctor expects to reside here for at least two years.

A HUGE CYLINDER. (1910, November 16). The Register(Adelaide, SA : 1901 - 1929), p. 3.

Dr. Sleeman from June 1913 to June 1914

LOCAL AND GENERAL NEWS. (1913, June 14). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 4. DOCTOR WANTED. (1914, June 27). Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), p. 13.

Dr. A.L.W. Tackaberry from 1914 to 1916

LOCAL AND GENERAL NEWS. (1916, January 22). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 4.

WANTED, Resident Medical Practitioner, for the District of Kingscote, Kangaroo Island; £450 per annum guaranteed. Apply to W. H. Partridge, Acting District Clerk, Kingscote.

Express and Telegraph (Adelaide, SA : 1867 - 1922), Wednesday 26 September 1917, page 2

Dr. A.C. Platonov 1920 to 1921

VALEDICTORY. (1921, September 24). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 2.

Dr. Robert E. Kane 1922

Doctor's Appointment.

It is satisfactory to note that at last Kingscote has a resident medical practitioner, Dr. R. E. Kane being appointed to that position at the last meeting of the Kingscote Council. Dr. Kane is at present staying at Carnarvon House, but will shortly, we understand, take up his residence in the premises at present occupied by Mr A. Daw in Dauncey Street.

LOCAL AND GENERAL NEWS (1922, December 23). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 2.


The friends of Dr. R. E. Kane will regret to hear that he passed away at the Adelaide Hospital this week.  [d. 27 Sep 1924 (aged 60)]

OBITUARY. (1924, October 4). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 2.

Dr. Hampden Carr 1924. Died 29 Sep 1932 aged 64, at American River, K.I. (accidentally drowned). (See newspaper articles below). His wife, Emmie Bevan Carr (nee Cooper) lived on until she was 100 and both are buried at Penneshaw Cemetery.  Joy Seager refers to Carr as a “delightful retired doctor” He had often been a great help to her. She attended him at his home following the accident at Penneshaw to put wide strapping around his busted ribs. Before going to K.I. she says he had been a highly respected Adelaide surgeon. And before Adelaide he was highly esteemed at Port Pirie.

Valedictory to Dr. Hampden Carr. (1911, July 1). Port Pirie Recorder and North Western Mail (SA : 1898 - 1918), p. 3.

Dr. Joy Seager (nee Tearne) arrived of 6 January 1925 for about 20 years.  There was a nursing home at that time – 800 metres from her surgery in Dauncey Street [Mrs Sharpe's Private Nursing Home 1920 - 1930, Giles Street - Colin Boettcher]

Dr E.A. Lermitte arrived 1927 departed 1st December 1930. Founding member and President of the Golf Club.

PERSONAL. (1930, December 6). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 2.

see article on special meeting ending in disarray on 12 May 1928, of rate payers to discuss the action of the council in terminating the agreement of Dr. Lermitte as medical officer.

Dr. Charles Richard Maitland-Pattison arrived December 1930 & died 7 November 1937 – He may not have been practising for the last two or three years of his life. Buried at sea.

He and his wife  Ethel Maitland-Pattison (nee Acton)were wounded 3 Feb 1930 at Palm Island off the Queensland coast between Ingham and Townsville.

Dr. Frank Welch November 1937 to March 1947

The latest advancement at Kingscote. K.I., is the X-ray machine which Dr. F, E. Welch has had installed. This apparatus has already been used in connection with a fractured, leg sustained by Mr. G. Gasmier, resulting from a fall off a bicycle.

News From Country Centres (1941, June 26). Chronicle (Adelaide, SA : 1895 - 1954), p. 13.

Dr. A.W. Burnell from March 1947 

Dr. Mary McHugh (nee McKENZIE) May 1949-April 1981 from Parndana

District Council Dudley. (1947, March 28). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 3.

Dr A. W. Burnell (known as Bunty) became the Doctor for Kingscote Council as well as Dudley Council.

After him, I can recall Dr Ted Hoile, Dr Scammond/ Scanlon??; then Dr Alan Roberts who is still active in the community, Dr Jefferies and others until today. - Dene Cordes  12 Jun 2017

The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), Saturday 17 September 1927, page 3The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), Saturday 8 October 1932, page 2

First-Aid for Settlers.


The need of a resident medical man has been long felt on Kangaroo Island, where, under existing conditions, the people are obliged to rely mainly on their own skill and resourcefulness in the treatment of wounds caused by accidents, and the various ills to which the flesh is heir. Medical practitioners on the mainland are well aware that when they go to the island for a holiday they will, in all probability, he called upon to attend cases of sickness, and prescribe for broken arms, ribs, or other injuries. The unfortunate position of the residents in this respect is realized by none more keenly than Dr. Angas Johnson, who has accordingly arranged to have forwarded to the island the most completely equipped first-aid cabinet obtainable in Adelaide, together with comprehensive covering directions relating to the use of materials in different circumstances. The cabinet will be the property of the people, and be placed at the post office at American River, which is connected with the telephone. Dr. Johnson's thoughtfulness will be greatly appreciated.— 'Register.'

FIRST-AID FOR SETTLERS. (1917, April 28). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 2.