Colonel John Southey BOSTOCK MB ChB CMG
Royal Army Medical College, Royal Army Medical Corps

Date of birth: 8th July 1875
Date of death: 12th August 1930

Died aged 55
Buried at St Mary the Virgin Church, Horsham
John Southey Bostock was born at Horsham on the 8th of July 1875 the eldest son of Dr Edward Ingram Bostock JP MRCS, a general practitioner, and Sarah Southey (nee Baker) Bostock of 7 South Street, Horsham in Sussex.

He was educated at Denstone School, Uttoxeter and at Lancing College where he was in School House from May 1888 to April 1893. He was a member of the Football XI from 1891 to 1893 and a member of the Cricket XI in 1891 and 1892.

He went on to Edinburgh University from the 2nd of May 1893 where he achieved a Bachelor of Medicine in 1900. While at university he captained both the cricket and football XIs and represented the university at billiards and chess. He was noted for his fine tenor voice and took part in light opera productions for the university amateur dramatic club.

He joined the Royal Army Medical Corps, was commissioned as a Lieutenant on the 25th of January 1901 and was posted to Aldershot. He was later posted to Malta arriving there on the 7th of September 1901 and returned home on leave on the 5th of June 1903. He returned to Malta on the 2nd of September 1903 and was promoted to Captain on the 29th of January 1904. In January 1905 he was officer commanding the St Francis barracks at Floriana and, while serving in Malta he sang the leading tenor role in the “Mikado” at the Valletta Opera House. In February 1905 he left Malta for Crete where he succeeded Captain Bransbury; in May 1906 he moved to Cairo.

He was married to Olivia Emslie (nee Horniman) on the 19th of October 1909 at St Luke’s Church in Chelsea. They had four children, John Oliver born on the 18th of July 1910, Agnes Laurie, born in India on the 21st of November 1912, Sheila Mavis born on the 22nd of September 1915 and Michael Ingram born on the 2nd of August 1922. In 1911 he was stationed at Aldershot and was living with the family at “The Oaks, Eggars Hill and from later that year until 1913 he served at Agra in India. He was promoted to Major on the 29th of October 1912.

On the outbreak of war he embarked for France on the 18th of August 1914, landing there the following day where he commanded a Field Ambulance unit as part of 2nd Division. At Ypres he commanded the motor ambulance service between Ypres and Poperinghe after which he was withdrawn from the Division to establish a convalescence hospital near Rouen.

He was mentioned in despatches which appeared in the London Gazette of the 23rd of June 1915. On the 23rd of June 1915 he was promoted to Brevet Lieutenant Colonel for "distinguished service in the field" and returned to England where he was appointed as Commandant of the Summerdown Convalescent Hospital at Eastbourne. He was promoted to Brevet Colonel on the 1st of January 1918.

From March 1919 he was seconded to the Ministry of Pensions where he initially worked in the organisation of the Treatment Centre for Officers and later became Director of Medical Services. He was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel on the 1st of February 1923 and completed his secondment in the December when he was appointed as Commanding Officer at the Depot and Training Officer, Royal Army Medical Corps. He was awarded the CMG in the King's Birthday Honours List of the 29th of June 1923. In 1924 he captained the Aldershot Command Cricket XI.

In 1927 he was appointed as Senior Medical Officer and as Officer Commanding the Hong Kong Military Hospital, returning to England in 1929. On the 1st of January 1930 he was appointed as Commandant of the Royal Army Medical College at Grosvenor Road in Westminster and was promoted to Colonel on the 1st of May 1930. He died suddenly while on leave at The Priory, Burford in Oxfordshire and is commemorated on a plaque at Holy Trinity Chapel Church of St Mary the Virgin at Horsham.

A junior RAMC officer wrote:-

“John Bostock”, for that was how he was known among us all, was a man with exceptional charm. Wherever he went he created an atmosphere of geniality and friendship. Whether as Depot Commandant in relation to a recruit or as senior officer to senior officer “John Bostock” could always make his personality felt. Almost at the zenith of his career he has been called away. His section for the post of commandant of the R.A.M.C. College was considered a really happy one; here was the ideal man for the position. He could make the newcomer welcome as no other man could, and could represent the Corps to its distinguished visitors with a natural warmth and elegance. There must be few among his brother officers who do not feel the loss, not only as a really personal one, but also to the Corps as a whole.”

His brothers, Corporal Lionel Southey Bostock, 3 Divisional Signal Company, Canadian Engineers, was killed in action on the 20th of September 1916, Captain Archibald Thomas Bostock OL, 14th Battalion Northumberland Fusiliers, died of wounds on the 30th of September 1915 and 2nd Lieutenant Neville Stanley Bostock, B Battery 162nd Brigade, Royal Field Artillery, was killed in action on the 22nd of April 1917. His elder son, Flight Lieutenant John Oliver Bostock 415 Squadron, Royal Canadian Air Force, was killed in action on the 16th of August 1943.

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