Obituary of Britannic's Senior Medical Officer (British Medical Journal, 8th July 1961)
H.S. ANDERSON. C.M.G., L.R.C.P., L.R.C.S. L.R.F.P.S.
Lieutenant-Co!onel H.S. Anderson died on May 24. He was 89 years of age.
Henry Stewart Anderson was born in 1872, the fourth son of the Rev. Samuel Anderson, of Dunmurry, Belfast. After education at St. Columba's College he embarked on a business career, but the call to medicine soon came in the guise of a man who bled to death because neither Anderson nor his companions had the simple medical knowledge necessary to save his life. From that day his course was clear -- the saving of life and relief of suffering. He studied at Queen's College, Belfast (1894-8) and qualified in Edinburgh L.R.C.P., L.R.C.S., and Glasgow L.R.F.P.S. in 1898. He immediately joined the R.A.M.C. and was medical officer to the D.C.L.I. in South Africa.
After service in Burma and India, Anderson was in Malta at the time of the Messina earthquake and was largely responsible for the dispatch of a British relief party to the scene. He had been reading about the landing of the Knights of Malta at Catona several centuries earlier, and saw the opportunity of following in their footsteps. His friend, H.R.H. the Duke of Connaught, was impressed by the idea and as C.-in-C. gave it powerful support. The Italian Government refused the first offer of help, but the Queen of Italy, after a visit to the scene, caused this decision to be changed. As a result a party of four R.A.M.C. doctors and two Q.A.I.M.N.S. sisters, together with British civilian doctors and nurses and other R.A.M.C. personnel, landed at Catona from H.M.S. Duncan on New Year's Day, 1909, four days after the disaster. An article by Anderson describing their work was published in the Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps of March, 1909. He and the Commander of the party, Major G.S. Crawford, were made Officers of the Order of the Crown of Italy, and also received the Italian Red Cross and Messina medals.
In 1914 Anderson went with the 1st Battalion North Staffs to France, but was invalided home in 1915. Later in 1915 he was appointed senior M.O. of the Britannic, sister ship of the Titanic. He supervised the medical side of her fitting-out and sailed with her till she was sunk in 1916. In 1917-19 he commanded the military hospital installed in the Citadel at Cairo, and later the Palestine General Hospital at Ludd. He was awarded the C.M.G. in 1918. He retired in 1924, but remained with the Army until 1937 as M.O. to the depot in Northampton. He was keenly interested in the work of the Royal Life Saving Society, St. John Ambulance, and the Royal Geographic Society. He had been a member of the B.M.A. since 1904. He married in 1910 Cicely May Steele, and she and their only son survive him.