A Doctor in East Africa

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A doctor in East Africa

Exhausted medics at a field operating theatre post battle (© The Jewell Family)

As part of the ‘Away from the Western Front’ project we made contact with Dr Tony Jewell. He is a retired public health doctor whose father and grandfather were also doctors. Furthermore they had both worked in East Africa, and indeed Tony was brought up in Kenya. When their grandfather Dr Norman Parsons Jewell died in 1974 his grandchildren uncovered an extraordinary record of the East African campaign through his memoirs and photos. He had never spoken about it to them, even though they had visited many of the places where the war had taken place. Working together, they published a book based on their grandfather’s records, On Call in Africa, in War and Peace 1910-1932, (Gillyflower Publishing, 2016). In September 2018 we interviewed Tony. In addition to describing some of his grandfather’s experiences, Tony uses his own medical background to comment on how the army medical services learnt from the experience of active service in tropical theatres, and how systems have developed.