Charles Richard Maitland PATTISON

Research by Chris Ward 2017

Charles Richard Maitland PATTISON was born in Co. Cork in 1879, the eldest son of Rev. John Pattison (1851-1918). (Dean of Listowel) His mother was Agnes Orpen nee Quin. (Orpen could be a family surname) There was a younger brother and three sisters. I suspect MAITLAND was also a family surname. At the March 1901 Census as a 21 year old Medical Student he was boarding at Gardners Row, Dublin. He graduated from Queen’s College, Cork (since 1908 University College, Cork) in February 1902 LRCP & LRCS Ireland. In February 1902 his address was given as Ballywood Lodge, Ballywood, Banbridge, Co. Down

In September 1911, writing in the British Medical Journal he mentions having spent two years on Robben Island as Assistant Medical Officer. He also mentions being district surgeon at Reddersburg in Orange River Colony (now South Africa). He also indicates that he had been on the Lower Zambesi in Portuguese East Africa (now Mozambique). This was all to do with his work with lepers.

He married Ethel Maud(e) ACTON in March 1910 at the Strand, Middlesex. In April 1911 the Census of Ireland has the couple living in a large house in Banbridge Co. Down with 10 front windows and a cook and a coachman as live-in servants. He signed the census form C.R. Maitland PATTISON.

On 2 May 1913 Charles was appointed to the Fijian Civil Service and in June 1913 he and his wife were in Sydney on their way to the island of Molokai in the Hawaiian group to conduct research work amongst the lepers at Kalaupapa. They arrived in Fiji on 25 June 1913 and by 24 October 1914 he was Assistant Medical Superintendent in Molakai.

On 1 August 1915 Charles was appointed a temporary Lieutenant in the Royal Army Medical Corps, attached to the 11th Casualty Clearing Station, 1st Garrison Battalion, Essex Regiment. The Battalion arrived at Mudros, Greece on 3 September 1915, serving on Gallipoli before moving on to Egypt in February 1916. On 10 June 1918 Charles was given a commission as a Captain with 112 Squadron R.A.F. based at Throwley in Kent. The squadron flew Sopwith Pups, Camels and Snipes, defending London and the Thames estuary. The squadron was disbanded on 13 June 1919. At the end of WW1, as Major Pattison, he applied for the 1915 Star and medals, presumably the British War Medal & Victory Medal. His obituary states that he was mentioned in despatches twice, although confirmation of this has not yet been located. Charles was demobilised from the R.A.F. on 8 April, 1919 and proceeded on 4½ months’ vacation leave. An address after the war was Royal Colonial Institute, Northumberland Avenue, London. Today this is the Royal Commonwealth Society. See our WW1 page for his miltary history .

On 13 August 1920 Dr Pattison resumed duty as a District Medical Officer of Health and Chairman, Local Authority in Labasa, Fiji. In May 1922 he was listed as a Medical Officer in the Fijian Civil Service. A CSR sugar mill was the main feature of the town, but there is a hospital there today which may have been operating in 1920. A newspaper article dated 9 January 1925 reported a wedding at the Pattison residence in Gizo in the Western Province, British Solomon Islands Protectorate. Charles gave the bride away and Ethel acted as “best man” The wedding was between Florence Gertrude “Dolly” Jennings (1894-1967) and Captain Arthur Middenway F.R.G.S. (1878-1940) who was the District Administrative Officer in the Protectorate.

In June 1925 the Pattisons were booked to go by ship to the British Solomon Islands but did not embark. In July 1925 they embarked on the Balranald from London to Sydney and in July 1926 The Brisbane Courier noted that recent visitors at the Kingsley Private Hotel were Dr. & Mrs Pattison from Fiji. In August 1926 Captain (sic) and Mrs Pattison were amongst the extensive guest list for a Garden Party at Queensland’s Government House with Lord Stonehaven the Guest of Honour.

In 1926 the Pattisons were appointed as Medical Superintendent and Matron on Palm Island. Joanne Watson in her book Palm Island Through a Long Lens devotes about 30 pages to the time they were on Palm including the 1930 rampage in which both were seriously wounded. The detailed story is there for those who wish to read the book.

See also Wikipedia article about the Palm Island tragedy.

See KIPA Newsletter No 54. Autumn 2014 (members only)

TIMELINE ON KI - compiled by Gil Daw 2015

Kangaroo Island Courier 6th December, 1930


Dr E.A. Larmitte, who has disposed of his practice to Dr Maitland-Pattison, accompanied by his wife Mrs Larmitte, left Kingscote by Karatta on Monday.

Kangaroo Island Courier under “Visitors List”

27th December, 1930; 17th January, 1931; 24th January, 1931; 31st January, 1931; 7th February, 1931; 14th February, 1931; 21st February, 1931; 7th March, 1931; 14th March, 1931; 28th March, 1931; 2nd April, 1931; 2nd May, 1931; 9th May, 1931; 16th May, 1931; 23rd May, 1931; 30th May, 1931; 20th June, 1931; 4th July, 1931

[It would be fair to say the Dr & Mrs Maitland- Pattison were staying at the Ozone Hotel from the purchase of the medical practice until their house was completed]

Kangaroo Island Courier 27th December, 1930 Page 2


On Tuesday last Mr J Jones while pulling out trees with Mr H. Salter's machine, had the misfortune to break the small bon in his right forearm. Dr. Maitland-Pattison set the injured arm.

Mr Leo Whittle on Monday afternoon last, sustained a crushed heel through it being jammed between a motor truck and a motor chassis which was being towed. Dr Maitland-Pattison attended to the sufferer, who spent a couple of days as an inmate of the Nursing Home.

Courier 17th October, 1931

Building Operation

“The walls of the residence for Dr C.R. Maitland-Pattison are nearing completion. The building is being erected on the sea-front about 200 yards north of the Kingscote Nursing Home.”

Courier 15th July, 1933 Page 2


“COOK.— On the 3rd of July at the Kingscote Nursing Home to Mr and Mrs P. H. W, Cook a son. Thanking Dr. Maitland-Pattison and Sister LeDan.”

Courier 12th May, 1934


“When he fell off a pony, Allen Ratcliff, aged 8 years, eldest son of Mr A. Ratcliff, broke his arm below the elbow, Dr. Maitland-Pattison attended the Patient.”

Courier 8th September, 1934 Page 2

Family Notices

Return Thanks. Mr and Mrs H. Whittle desire to convey their sincere thanks to all kind relatives arid friends for letters, cards, telegrams, floral tributes and personal expressions of sympathy in the sad loss of their son Archie. Especially thanking Dr. and Mrs Maitland-Pattison and Mrs Haseldine.

The Advertiser 20th March, 1935

Silver Wedding at Kangaroo Island

In the R.A.O.B. Hall, Kingscote, Kangaroo Island, on Monday, March 11, about 100 residents from all parts of the island gave Dr. and Mrs. Maitland-Pattison a surprise party to congratulate them on their silver wedding. Mrs Otin lent her car, and two residents called for the doctor and his wife and drove them to the hall, where they were received by Mrs. R. J. Cook. Little Gloria Kenworthy presented Mrs. Pattison with a sheaf of dahlia blooms and the doctor with a button hole of carnations. The Rev. and Mrs Kenworthy escorted them to a dais at the end of the large hall, which had been decorated, with roses, carnations, dahlias, and fern. Mr Kenworthy spoke in eulogistic terms or the honoured guests, especially stressing their consideration for the less fortunate members of the community. The doctor feelingly responded. Card tables were placed down one side of the hall for players, and the remainder of the floor was occupied by dancers. Mesdames Harry and Waller and Miss Marjorie Carter supplied the music. Mr. Jack Lade was M.C. Supper was served. A silver salver and two silver goblets were presented to the guests. They bore the following inscription: "Presented to Dr. and Mrs C R. Maitland-Pattison on the occasion of their silver wedding, March 11, 1935, as a token of affection and esteem by their many friends on Kangaroo Island."

Courier 8th November, 1935

Family Notices

BIRTH. COOK.— On the 29th October at Kingscote, to Mr and Mrs Perc. Cook, a daughter, Margaret Ann. Special thinks to Dr. and Mrs Maitland-Pattison.”

Courier 3rd September, 1937 Page 2


“We regret to hear of she continued ill health of Dr. E. R. Maitland-Pattison. He has not been able to attend to his professional duties for the past four weeks. We wish him a speedy recovery. Mrs Pattison is still carrying on her work at the, Gunyah Nursing Home.”

Courier 1st October, 1937

“Dr. E. R. Maitland-Pattison, who has been ill for the past two months, left by the s.s. Karatta on Monday. He is an inmate of Narma Private Hospital, Adelaide.”

The Advertiser 9th November, 1937

Doctor Buried At Sea

KINGSCOTE. November 7.

“Dr. Maitland Pattison, who had been under medical treatment in Adelaide for some time, was brought back to Kingscote by air on Friday. He realised that he could not live long, and expressed his wish to be buried at sea. Dr. Pattison died on Saturday evening. The burial took place at sundown today, three miles out to sea in front of his home at Kingscote North.”

Chronicle 11th November, 1937 Page 25

MAITLAND-PATTISON. — On the 7th of November, at his residence, at Kingscote, Dr. C. R. Maitland-Pattison, born 1879, at Cork, Ireland, and beloved husband of Ethel Maud Maitland-Pattison. At rest.

Courier 12th November, 1937 Page 2

A Burial at Sea

“After spending several weeks in hospital in Adelaide. Dr. C. R. Maitland-Pattison was brought back to Kingscote on Friday last by a special plane, being accompanied by Mrs Maitland-Pattison and Dr. Ray Lewis. His condition was considered to be very low and he passed away on Saturday evening. He had expressed a wish to be buried at sea, and this was carried out on Sunday evening. In the absence of the Rev, H. H. Overall, who could not get back from Penneshaw in time, Mr R. Day conducted the Anglican burial service. The doctor’s remains were taken six miles out to sea in Mr P. Cook's motor launch and in the presence of a few friends they were consigned to the deep.”

Courier 19th November, 1937


Charles Richard Maitland-Pattison L.R.C.S. L.R.C.P. L.M, eldest son of the late Rev. John Pattison Dean of Listowe, Ireland, was born in Clark [s/be Cork] Ireland in 1879. He qualified in Dublin in 1902 and almost immediately after he took op tropical diseases as his speciality. He devoted 8 years of his life doing research work in the treatment of leprosy, yellow fever and sleeping sickness. He served under the Colonial Office in Fiji and Solomon Islands from 1911—1926 except for the war period 1915—1920, when be served in the R.A.M.C. and R.A.F. both at Gallipoli and France; be was twice mentioned in dispatches. He suffered severe injuries in Queensland in 1930 from the effects of which he never completely recovered. He was then working for the Government amongst the aborigines. For the past seven years Dr. Maitland-Pattison bas been resident medical officer on Kangaroo Island; although for the past three years he had been seriously ill himself, he endeavoured until the last to serve the inhabitants of the Island to the best of his ability.

Courier 12th November, 1937

Family Notices


MRS MAITLAND-PATTISON wishes to thank all kind friends for their sympathy and kindness.

The Advertiser 26th February, 1938 Page 26

Late Dr. Maitland-Pattison

From S. Buick, Kingscote. K.I. A tribute is due to the memory of our late Dr. Maitland-Pattison. No road was too dark, nor hour too late, for him to hurry to the bedside of a sufferer. He was a returned soldier, ready to spend I and be spent in the way of duty, and: many benefited gratuitously from his services. That eminent surgeon, Sir Henry Newland, was his friend and spoke well of him. My husband and I will never forget his kindness and the benefit we received from his treatment. No one could wish for a more kind and capable nurse than Mrs. Pattison and I am thankful to say she does not intend to leave Kingscote.

Courier 21st November, 1941 Page 2


Mr G. D. BUICK and family wish to thank friends and relatives for floral tributes, telegrams and personal expressions of sympathy in their recant sad bereavement. Special thanks to Mrs Maitland-Pattison, Mr and Mrs A. Cordes, Mrs P. G. Waller, Dr. F. E. Welch and members of the Cook families.

Mrs R PRITCHARD, Messrs Lance Gordon and Reg Day and families, wish to thank all friends and relatives for floral tributes and expressions of sympathy in their recent sad bereavement. Special thanks to Mrs Maitland-Pattison, Mr and Mrs A Cordes, Mrs. P. G. Waller, Dr. F. E. Welch and members of the Cook families.

A Silver Wedding. (1935, March 16). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 2.

OBITUARY. (1937, November 19). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 2.

A Burial at Sea. (1937, November 12). The Kangaroo Island Courier (Kingscote, SA : 1907 - 1951), p. 2.