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One St John 2016 № 2

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The ‘logo’ of
One St John
: ‘Almsgiving by the brothers of
the hospital of St John of Jerusalem’, from
Stabilimenta
Rhodiorum Militum
by Guillaume Coursin, 1493. By kind
permission of the Museum of the Order of St John.
St John International
www.orderofstjohn.org
©
One St John: The international historical journal of the Most Venerable Order of St John
ISSN 2411-393X
One St John
THE INTERNATIONAL HISTORICAL JOURNAL OF

THE MOST VENERABLE ORDER OF ST JOHN
VOLUME 2, 2016
International
Contents

1Second volume of a new journal


Ian Howie-Willis & John Pearn

Major General Michael Walsh
CB


(1927–2015). A life of leadership and service

John Pearn


5
Pie Postulatio Voluntatis
. The Papal Bull of 1113


John Pearn & Ian Howie-Willis

‘Return to Sender’. The Letters Patent of Queen Mary
reinstating the Order of St John in England in 1554



James Cheshire

St John without the ambulance. How history has shaped the
past, present and future of St John of Scotland


Richard Waller

‘The Good Samaritan’. International imagery as a metaphor
for the work of St John Ambulance

John Pearn
Sir Hiram Maxim and the ‘Pipe of Peace’


Brian Fotheringham

Dr Samuel Thomas Knaggs. Australia’s other St John
founding father


Timothy M Wieland
61The Red Cross and the St John Ambulance link


Allan Mawdsley

What’s in a name? The ancient, peculiar case of ‘St John
Ambulance’

Ian Howie-Willis


One St John

Volume 2, 2016

1
Second volume of a new journal
The rst volume of
One St John
was launched by the Grand Prior, HRH
Prince Richard Duke of Gloucester, in Edinburgh in May 2015.
As our ‘editorial’ at that time pointed out,
One St John
is an entirely new
venture in the 185-year life of the organisation which has evolved into the
Most Venerable Order of St John.
In a contracting world, linkages between the various national arms of St
John are becoming closer. Communication between members of the
various Priories, Commanderies and Associations has never been more
ecient, or more extensive.
This second edition of
One St John
is perhaps symbolic of the world-wide
outreach which unites of those committed to the ethic of volunteer pre-
hospital care — in its many forms.
We invite submissions from throughout the St John world. So many have
a signicant story to tell. The collectivity of such stories and accounts will
be of interest to all ‘Johnnies’, irrespective of nation.
The challenges, and the achievements, of St John members are so often
unique to the circumstances of place and time. Such accounts, however,
all contain a core of experiences shared by many in communities which
are otherwise very dierent, but which remain confronted by common
challenges.
Both historical and contemporary accounts are welcome, if an author
feels there is substance which carries an international message. Submitted
manuscripts are submitted to peer review to preserve the standards of
international scholarship which St John espouses.
Ian Howie-Willis

t


&
John Pearn

t

, Editors

One St John

Volume 2, 2016

2
Major General Michael Walsh

    
t

(1927–2015).

A life of leadership and service
John Pearn
Priory Librarian, St John Ambulance Australia
Major General Michael Walsh served as the Director of Overseas Relations for the Order
of St John for six years from 1989 to 1995. A gallant and highly-decorated soldier, and a
leader esteemed by all, he brought much to international relations and pragmatic St John
communication, across national boundaries. His
persona
was one of indefatigable zeal to
promote the feeling of ‘family identity’ of all who work in the black and white uniform of

St John. In this context, he reached out to many groups in St John, including volunteers who
were serving in more than 40 nations. He was held in highest esteem, indeed aection, by
the many thousands whose functions, parades, seminars and camps he attended. With his
wife, Angela, he travelled extensively throughout Africa, Asia and Australasia in his St John
role.
Michael John Hatley Walsh was born in Harrogate and educated at Sedbergh School in
Yorkshire. He enlisted in the British Army as a Rieman in the King’s Royal Rie Corps
early in 1945. He was commissioned and served with the First Battalion KRRC in Northern
Italy; and served with his battalion in the bitter cold of the high hills between Italy and
Yugoslavia, preventing Tito’s partisans from seizing Trieste. He served in various appointments
and was posted to the Third Battalion, the Parachute Regiment at Aldershot. He served on
numerous operational deployments including the airborne assault anti-terrorist operations
in Cyprus. He proudly wore the airborne ‘cherry beret’ on many occasions, after retirement.

He held particular aection for Australia after his year with the British Defence Sta and the
Australian Army Sta College in Queenscli in Victoria.
Major General Michael JH Walsh.
After a distinguished military career,
in 1982 he became the Chief Scout of
the United Kingdom and Dependent
Overseas Countries. In 1989 he was
appointed Director Overseas of St John
Ambulance, a position he held for two
triennia (1989–1995).
Pearn
Major General Michael Walsh

One St John

Volume 2, 2016

3
Michael was decorated with the Distinguished Service Order for gallantry on operational
service in Cyprus. His stellar military career subsequently included that as Colonel in the
First Armoured Division in the British Army of the Rhine. His exceptional ability and natural
leadership skills were recognised early and he was promoted to Major General and appointed
the General Ocer commanding the Third Division, then the United Kingdom’s Mobile
Force. He served also with great distinction with the Royal Green Jackets before retiring
from the Army in 1981.
General Walsh’s great contributions to St John Ambulance centred on his interlinking with
so many other volunteer services. In 1982 he was appointed world Chief Scout, only the
fth Chief Scout since the Founder, Lieutenant General Robert Baden-Powell, had been
in oce. Decorations were showered upon General Walsh including that of Commander of
the British Empire (1996) and the Commander of the Bath (1980). He was appointed the
Queens Deputy Lieutenant (eg County or State Governor) for Wiltshire. He was a skilled
photographer, a keen sailor, and in his youth had been a keen boxer. In this latter context, in
1981 he was appointed Life President of the Army Boxing Association. He served with a great
distinction also in the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, serving for many years as its Vice
President.
Major General Michael John Hatley
Walsh (1927–2015) in his uniform as
World Chief Scout.
General Walsh’s tenure as Chief Scout
was characterised by his outreach to
other volunteer bodies, including St John
Ambulance, the Royal National Lifeboat
Association and the Territorial Forces.
Portraie
(oils on canvas) by June Mendoza
for the Scout Association.
In 1989, he brought this outreach and ambassadorial enthusiasm to his work for
the St John Ambulance Association. He was created Life President of the St John
Rescue Corps of Malta. He had served in military roles in Singapore, and as Director of
Overseas Relations for St John Ambulance, he was a popular ambassador for the work
of St John, both in St John Ambulance Malaysia and St John Ambulance Singapore.
At the St John Far East and Australasian Seminar held in 1990, he was particularly
inuential in supporting the Commander-in-Chief of the Malaysian St John Ambulance,

Mr E Paramasivam. In these outreach and leadership roles, working in Singapore, India,
Kenya, Malaysia and Australia, he fostered international communications and friendships.
In the major Far East and Australasian Seminar held in Malaysia in 1990, 12 nations were
represented to support the 48,000 Malaysian members serving in St John Ambulance
uniforms in that year. General Walsh was instrumental in bringing the wider world of St John
to Australia, New Zealand and Canada, in various seminars he led with great distinction.
Pearn
Major General Michael Walsh

One St John

Volume 2, 2016

4
General Walsh had a charismatic personality and was ideally suited to the ambassadorial
role he both created and pursued in the name of St John in Europe, Africa, India, Pakistan,
Malaysia, Singapore, Australia and New Zealand.
General Walsh died on the 13 October 2015, mourned by all who knew him. Many, like the
author, were privileged to serve with him in many uniforms, in this context particularly in the
proud black and white uniform of the international world of St John Ambulance.
At the entrance to the St John
International Cadet Camp held at
campsites in the Ayer Keroh Forest,
Malacca in May 1990 are (l–r): Professor
John Pearn (Director of Training, St
John Ambulance Australia and District
Surgeon, Queensland); Major General
Michael Walsh (Director of International
Relations, The Order of St John);

Mrs Angela Walsh; and Dr Low Bin Tick
(Deputy Commander in Chief, St John
Ambulance Malaysia).
The National Seminar was held with 12
nations represented in Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia on 20 May 1990.
A press conference was hosted by Major
General Michael Walsh as Director of
Overseas Relations, the Order of St
John: in the front row (l–r) are: Professor
Villis Marshall (Australia); Dr Herbert
Ellis (UK); Major General Michael Walsh;
Mr E Paramasivan (Malaysia); Group
Captain Keith Batt (UK).
Back row (l–r): John Pearn (Australia);
Mr Wickram (Solomon Islands);

Mr Laurie Hawes (UK); Mr Dominic
Sagere (Papua New Guinea); Mr Bais
Gwale (Deputy Commissioner, Papua
New Guinea); Mr Russell Martin (Deputy
Community Service Commissioner, New
Zealand).
Pearn
Major General Michael Walsh

One St John

Volume 2, 2016

5
Pie Postulatio Voluntatis
.

e Papal Bull of 1113
John Pearn
&
Ian Howie-Willis
Fifteenth of February 2013 was a great milestone for all the Orders of St John. That date was
nothing less than the 900th anniversary of the institution from which the Orders all claim
descent: the original ‘Hospital of St John of Jerusalem’ founded by a monk of the mediaeval
church, Brother Gerard Thom. This day in 1113 was the day on which Pope Paschal II (reign
1099–1118) issued the Papal Bull
Pie Postulatio Voluntatis
authorising the establishment of
Brother Gerard’s hospital as an institution independent of all others.
The origins of what was to become the great St John Hospital in Jerusalem are obscure and
debated among mediaevalists. There is, however, general agreement that in the decades
before the First Crusade of 1095–99 AD, Brother Gerard emerged as the head of a place of
sanctuary and care for those making personal pilgrimages to Jerusalem.
A Bull is a papal edict, a proclamation issued by a
pope, its pronouncements having his full authority as
the Vicar of Christ, the supreme head of the Catholic
Church. The word ‘Bull’ is from the Latin ‘
bulla
’,
meaning a document bearing a lead seal, in this case
one imprinted with the Pope’s distinctive armorial
device. All Bulls are issued in Latin (the ecclesiastical
language), the title of each Bull usually reecting its
subject matter. So it is with
Pie Postulatio Voluntatis
,
which means ‘A pious request [and] desire’ and is
the Bull’s short title. Gerard’s Bull also has a longer
title:
Geraudo institutori ac praeposito Hirosolimitani
Xenodocchii
, which translates as ‘Gerard, founder and
also provost of the Jerusalem Xenodochium’.
As the longer title indicates, the institution that
Brother Gerard established was a xenodochium not a
hospital. The dierence between these two terms is
obvious in the derivation of the former.
It is a compound of two ancient Greek words that
have come into English via Latin:
1.
(
ksenos
or
xenos
in Latin), meaning,
‘stranger’, ‘foreigner’ and ‘guest’, the same
source as the rst element in the English word
‘xenophobia’, i.e. fear of and hostility towards
foreigners
2.
δέχομαι
(
dekhomai
), to ‘receive’ or ‘accept’.
The Blessed Gerard, from a fresco in
the Chapel of the Grand Magistry of
the Sovereign Military Order of Malta in
the Palazzo Malta on the Via Condotti,
Rome.
The image illustrates the legend that
during the siege of Jerusalem by the First
Crusade in 1099 Gerard had thrown
bread to the hungry Crusaders besieging
the city and had then been imprisoned
and tortured by the city’s Muslim
governors.

One St John

Volume 2, 2016

6
[
Image left:
https://
en.wikipedia.org/
wiki/Pie_Postulatio_
Voluntatis#/media/
File:Pie_Postulatio_
Voluntatis.jpg]
Inset, Ranerio Raineri (
c.

1076–1118) who as

Pope Paschall II issued the Papal Bull of

15 February 1113 (below) establishing Brother
Gerard’s xenodochium as an Order in its own right.
The word used for Gerard’s institution precisely indicated its function. Xenodochium is a rare
word used infrequently in English, but the use of this term indicates that Gerard’s institution
was what we would now call a hospice, a hostel mainly for housing needy pilgrims and especially
those who were ill and/or poor.
[A detail from a
1099 oil painting by
Giuseppe Franchi.]
Pearn & Willis Pie Postulatio Voluntatis

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7
While
Pie Postulatio Voluntatis
makes clear that Gerard’s xenodochium was such a hospice, it
also refers to the ‘hospital work’ done there. Being a ‘xenodochium’ meant it was an institution
that took in wayfarers. The Latin word which the Bull used for hospital work was ‘
hospitalitas
’,
but this term did not then carry its present-day connotations of an institution for treating
the sick and injured. Instead ‘hospitalitas’ meant granting refuge and dispensing hospitality
and care to visitors.
In the Bull, Pope Paschal II makes clear that by xenodochium he meant something more than
the actual building housing Gerard’s hospice. Being a xenodochium meant it was an institution
that took in wayfarers, but the term also included the monks and other lay volunteers who
staed the institution plus the services they provided. Further, xenodochium included not just
the hostel in Jerusalem but similar institutions the brethren were already running elsewhere
in France, Sicily and mainland Italy.
The point of great signicance in
Pie Postulatio Voluntatis
is that the Pope bestowed complete
independence (with the exception of his own Papal authority) on this collegiate monastic
institution. The Bull’s promulgation in 1113 preceded the formal naming of the Order of

St John and preceded the evolution of the term ‘Hospitaller’. In his Bull, Paschal II was
responding to a prior request for autonomy in a supplication from Gerard. The motivation for
this request will possibly remain unknown, but by 1113 Gerard was administering a chain of
hospices in at least seven places, most of them in Europe on the pilgrim route to Jerusalem, and
these were subject to the rules—and perhaps frustration—of direction and even subjugation
by local bishops.
The Order’s formal adoption of health care and healing functions (hospital work in the
modern sense) probably came later, under Gerard’s successor, Brother Raymond du Puy
(1083–1160), Rector (or Provost) of the Order, 1120–1160. It was Brother Raymond who
formulated the Order’s Rule or constitution, which was granted Papal approval at some time
during the period 1120–1153, possibly during the papacy of Pope Eugene III (reigned 1145–
1153). Raymond also gave the Order an additional military function similar to that of the
Templars, the other great contemporary order of military monks. Exactly when the Order
adopted its military role is uncertain, but it had certainly begun recruiting knights by 1153,
when Raymond, a crusading knight himself before joining the Order, led its troops at the
Siege of Ascalon.
Certainly by 1120, however, the Order had acquired more spacious buildings near the Church
of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. There it developed its famous ‘Sacred Inrmary’, a facility
for treating the sick and injured. Signicantly, Raymond’s Rule referred to the hospice only as
‘the Hospital of Jerusalem’ not as ‘the xenodochium’. The xenodochium had clearly become a
hospital as well as (or rather than) a hospice. To emphasise the point, Raymond’s regulations
for the Order stipulated that the inrmary must maintain a permanent medical sta of ve
physicians and three surgeons. In 1150 one pilgrim who visited the inrmary wrote that it
was caring for no fewer than 2000 patients. Not surprisingly, then, it was during this period
1120s–50s, that the Order’s brethren became known as the ‘Hospitallers’, the name they
retained for the next 400 years, until the Order re-established itself in Malta in 1530. After
that they were more commonly called the ‘Knights of Malta’. (Incidentally, ‘Hospitaller’ was
not a title over which Raymond’s brethren had a monopoly: other religious orders which
cared for the sick were also called hospitallers.)
Pearn & Willis Pie Postulatio Voluntatis

One St John

Volume 2, 2016

8
The privileges that Pope Paschal granted Gerard and his ‘professed brethren’ were extensive.
Apart from unprecedented independence, ve main benets were bestowed upon the
xenodochium. In summary these were:
1.
The xenodochium came under direct papal patronage. That is, it was answerable only to
the Pope and not to local bishops and abbots, who might deny it the resources it needed
to full its charitable functions.
2.
The resources which the Order had already acquired or would later accumulate (land,
buildings, money, rents, equipment and livestock, often obtained as gifts) were to be
preserved solely for the Order’s own use in meeting the needs of its pilgrim clients. That
is, the local bishops and abbots could not divert the Order’s resources to their own use.
Right: Raymond du Puy, Gerard’s successor as rector of the
Order and the author of its Rule. The Order began establishing
hospitals during his long tenure (1120–60) and also adopted
a military function. This idealised portrait, an 1842 painting by
Alexandre Laemlein, is held in the ‘Crusades’ collection of the
Palace of Versailles in France.
Below: Ruins of the Hospital of the Order of St John, Muristan
area of the old city of Jerusalem, as they were in 1874. They
are coloured pink in this image to distinguish them from the
surrounding structures. (Photograph: Wikimedia Common.)
Pearn & Willis Pie Postulatio Voluntatis

One St John

Volume 2, 2016

9
3.
The brethren were granted the right to elect their own Provosts after Gerard’s eventual
death, without outside pressure or interference. (The title of Provost changed to ‘Grand
Master’ during Brother Raymond’s tenure.)
4.
The Order’s possessions in Europe, like those in Jerusalem, were for the sole use of the
brethren in fullling their charitable role.
5.
Any transgression of the foregoing privileges would incur the most severe sanction
available to a Pope—excommunication. And so anyone seeking to deprive the Order of
the benets conferred by the Bull would accordingly be denied the sacraments of the
church and would consequently be condemned to eternal hellre—a terrifying prospect,
given the mediaeval mind, even for kings and emperors.
What more does
Pie Postulatio Voluntatis
tell us? In reading between the lines of the Bull we
can infer a little more about Gerard and his brethren. Briey, the Bull yields this information:

Gerard was the founder and rector of the xenodochium. Unfortunately, the Bull does not
hint at the successful ecclesiastical politicking that Gerard must have done to ensure that
his humble hospice was elevated to the prestigious status of an independent ecclesiastical
organisation and later an order.

At one point the Bull refers to Gerard’s hospice as a ‘ptochea’, an alternative to
xenodochium. This little-used term, from the Greek ‘
ptochium
’, meaning ‘a hostel for
the poor’, emphasised the point that the clientele of Gerard’s institution were indigent
pilgrims, those who had spent their all in making the long and hazardous pilgrimage to the
Holy Land.

The brethren were already associated with their patron, St John the Baptist, as their
xenodochium was situated near the church dedicated to him. (Exactly when the brethren
adopted the titles ‘Hospital of St John of Jerusalem’ and ‘Order of St John’ is unclear.
Brother Raymond’s famous Rule, for instance, does not use the former phrase but speaks
only of the ‘House of the Hospital of Jerusalem’.)

The Librarian of our Order, Professor Jonathan Riley-Smith, points out that in issuing
Pie Postulatio Voluntatis
the Pope had ‘created the basic form of an international religious
Order answerable only to him’. If that is so, Gerard’s brethren became the model on
which other great international orders, the Templars and the Jesuits, developed later.

The brethren already had independent sources of income from cash donations and rents
from the properties they had acquired.

The brethren were already expanding their activities from Palestine into Europe. For
instance, the Order was active in England by 1140, and it acquired its famous property at
Clerkenwell, London, in 1144.

The brethren were greatly respected—they had begun acquiring ‘honours’.

The wealth the brethren were accumulating was already the envy of the bishops and abbots
in the places they had established branches. The Bull’s heavy sanctions to safeguard the
brethren’s privileges hint at the potential resentment of the local clergy. Envy of the
brethren’s accumulating resources was, presumably, the reason why the Bull granted
them independence from diocesan control.

The Bull was signed personally by Paschal II, probably at Benevento (south-east of Rome
and inland from Naples), and was witnessed by a bevy of other princes of the church:
Pearn & Willis Pie Postulatio Voluntatis

One St John

Volume 2, 2016

10
three cardinals, one archbishop and three bishops. The Pope’s seal was then axed,
probably immediately after the signing ceremony, by a cardinal called John who was also
a ‘Librarian’, which perhaps means he was Paschal’s ocial keeper of records.
Brother Gerard’s action in founding his hospice about 1080 and the Bull of 1113 were the
rst great milestones in the Order’s eventful progress across the subsequent nine centuries.
By guaranteeing Gerard’s brethren their independence,
Pie Postulatio Voluntatis
established
what became a new order under Raymond du Puy. The Bull enabled the brethren to expand
and diversify to face emerging challenges. This in turn helped the original hospice to develop
into the great worldwide series of humanitarian, charitable enterprises which the Orders of
St John have become in the modern era. That is indeed something worth commemorating.
Pearn & Willis Pie Postulatio Voluntatis

One St John

Volume 2, 2016

11
‘Return to Sender’.

e Letters Patent of Queen MaryI
reinstating the Order of St John in
England in 1554
James Cheshire JP, OStJ
My readers might be interested in knowing how I come to be the author of such a recondite
article so apparently remote from the workaday concerns of the average St Johnny on public
duty somewhere in Australia. I will accordingly explain briey.
It happened because, yet again, I was corralled by the Historical Society’s Editor (Ian Howie-
Willis) and talked into producing it. As is my wont, I met him for dinner in Canberra during
one of my working visits there, soon after his return from his 2013 trip to England. He was
fresh from his experience of delivering a presentation to the quadrennial seminar of the
London Centre for the Study of the Crusades at St John’s Gate in September 2013. While
there he had seen on display in a black velvet-covered glass case one of our Order’s most
treasured possessions—the original elaborately illuminated Letters Patent of Queen Mary
I and her consort, King Philip of Spain issued in 1557 to re-establish the English
Langue
of
the ancient Order of St John. As any aspiring St John historian will know, the
Langue
had
been suppressed by Mary’s father, King Henry VIII, eighteen years earlier, shortly after the
beginning of the religious reformation in England.
Agog with excitement at his personal viewing of this rare historic document, our Editor told
me he’d viewed the Letters Patent in company with several English Knights of the Sovereign
Military Hospitaller Order of Malta. They were of the strong opinion that the Letters Patent
rightly belonged to
their
Order of St John, not ours.
Perhaps by way of rearming our right of possession, our Editor suggested that I should
apply my recently acquired legal qualications to the task of revisiting the vexed issue of
whether or not our legitimacy as an Order of St John rests on Mary I’s Letters Patent of 1557
as well as on Queen Victoria’s Royal Charter of 1888.
Letters Patent
Letters Patent (always plural) are legal instruments, that is a Letters Patent is a formal
document that records and sets out in writing a legally enforceable act, process, contractual
duty, obligation or right.
Letters Patent are customarily issued by a Head of State. In a monarchy, for instance Australia
or the UK, the monarch of the day may issue Letters Patent to grant an oce, a title, an
honour, a privilege or a monopoly to a person or group. In such cases, the Letters Patent serve
as a public statement in which the monarch announces the granting of such favours.
A good example here is the Letters Patent issued by Queen Victoria to Surgeon-General
William GN Manley VC in December 1875, conferring on him the right to produce and
market an ‘improved ambulance litter’ or detachable stretcher mounted on a frame attached
to two cartwheels—the famous ‘St John Ambulance’ from which our organisation takes its

One St John

Volume 2, 2016

12
name. At the time, Manley VC was the head of the Ambulance Department of the Order
of St John; and so the Letters Patent for the ‘St John ambulance’ were eectively granted
to him, and through him his Ambulance Department, as the Order’s key co-stakeholders in
the new litter.
Backtracking historically—a reminder of events and issues to

Mary I’s 1557 Letters Patent
What now follows is
not
a quiz for Cadets working towards the KOTO (‘Knowledge of the
Order’) prociency badge. Instead, it’s a recapitulation of historical developments forming
the background to Mary I’s 1557 Letters Patent re-establishing the abolished
Langue
of
England of the Order of Knights Hospitaller.
To appreciate the eect of Mary’s Letters Patent, let us briey consider ten key events in
Hospitaller history over the preceding ve-and-a-half centuries. These may be summarised
as follows:
1.
1099: capture of Jerusalem by the First Christian Crusade to the Holy Land. English
knights took part in this Crusade.
2.
Even before the Crusaders took Jerusalem, a hospice for pilgrims was being run there by a
Benedictine monk, Gerard Thom, and a small group of his brethren. The hospice received
support from auent pilgrims and, after the First Crusade, from Crusaders returning
home to Europe. Support for the brethren came in the form of bequests of funds and
real estate.
3.
1113: the Papal Bull
Pie Postulatio Voluntatis
— in eect Letters Patent — of Pope Pascal
II conrmed the hospice as an Order in its own right and appointed Fra. (Latin —
Frater
:
‘Brother’) Gerard as Rector (head) of the new Order.
4.
c. 1144: an English branch (later termed
Langue
or ‘Tongue’, i.e. linguistic grouping) was
established as a Priory of the Order at Clerkenwell, London.
5.
1187: vctory of the Muslim forces under Saladin over the Crusaders in the Battle of Hattin,
followed by the loss of many Crusader-held castles and towns, including Jerusalem. The
Crusaders retreated to their last bastion in the Holy Land, Acre (Akko), a port city in
northern Palestine.
6.
1291: Muslim forces conquered Acre. In retreat, the Order moved to the Crusader
kingdom of Cyprus, where it based itself at Kolossi Castle.
7.
1309: under the Grand Master Fulk (or Foulques) de Villaret, the Order acquired Rhodes,
which became its base in the eastern Mediterranean for the next 213 years, until expelled
by the forces of Suleiman the Magnicent, the Ottoman (Turkish) Emperor, in 1522.
8.
1312: establishment of the formal administration of the Order through eight
Langues
,
a system of governance based on linguistic groupings. In the case of the
Langue
of
England, the
Langue
comprised the three English-speaking Priories of England, Ireland
and Scotland.
9.
1330: under the English Grand Prior of the Order, Fra. Philip Thame, the Grand Priory
of England continued acquiring estates. Eventually the Order owned some 50 manorial
estates in the British Isles, where it was among the major landowners.
10.
1539–41: religious reformation in England and the dissolution of the monasteries. The
property of the Order was sequestrated and membership of the Order forbidden within
the realm.
Cheshire
‘Return to Sender’.

One St John

Volume 2, 2016

13
Suppression of the Order in England
To elaborate on the last of these events, the abolition of the Order in England in 1539–40,
the course of the suppression of the English Langue may be conveniently summarised by
reference to relevant legislation enacted during the reign of King Henry VIII, the father of
Mary I.
During the last decade of Henry’s long (38-year) reign, 1509–1547, ve key Acts of
Parliament were the legal instruments through which the Order lost both its property and
the right to exist in England. They were as follows:
1.
Act of (Henry VIII) Supremacy 1534
, which made
Henry VIII (rather than the Pope) the head of the
Church in England.
2.
Dissolution of the Lesser Monasteries Act 1536
,
which suppressed 536 minor religious houses,
e.g. the smaller provincial abbeys and priories, and
sequestered their property.

3.
Dissolution of the Greater Monasteries Act 1539
,
which suppressed 200 major religious houses and
sequestered their property. The Hospitallers’ Grand
Priory at Clerkenwell fell under this category.
4.
Suppression of Monasteries Act 1540
, which
transferred to the Crown ownership, i.e. into the
possession of Henry VIII, the property surrendered
by the closed religious houses.
5.
Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem (Possessions,
etc.) Act 1541
, which conrmed the transfer to the
Crown of all the property of the Order of St John
in the realms of King Henry VIII.

Hospital of Saint John of Jerusalem (Possessions, etc.) Act 1541
I will now briey consider the last of these ve acts, which singled out the Order of St John for
exemplary abolition. The preamble described it as ‘An Act concerning the Lands and Goods
of the Hospitals of St. John of Jerusalem in England and Ireland, to be hereafter [placed] in
the King’s Hands and Disposition’.
The 1540 Act provided that wherever Henry held dominion and his law was in force the
Order of St John and its establishments ‘by whatsoever name or names they be founded,
incorporated or known, shall be utterly dissolved and void to all intents and purposes’. That’s
another way of saying that henceforth the Order was wholly suppressed within Henry’s
kingdoms.
No one anywhere, in England, Ireland, Scotland, Rome or Malta, could be in any doubt that
Henry had entirely extirpated the English Langue within his realms.
This statement requires some qualication, however. First, Henry VIII was not the King of
Scotland; and so he had no power to abolish the Order there. ‘King of Scotland’ was a title
belonging to his nephew, King James V of Scotland (1512–1542), the father of the ill-fated
Mary Queen of Scots. James V was the son of King James IV and Margaret Tudor, Henry’s
King Henry VIII suppressed the Knights’
Hospitallers’ Grand Priory of England in
1539–1541. His second daughter, Queen
Elizabeth I, conrmed the suppression on
acceding to the throne in 1558.
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sister. His maternal Tudor ancestry notwithstanding, James V was no friend of either Henry
VIII or England. Indeed he died in 1542 soon after an English army defeated his army at the
Battle of Solway Moss on the Scottish–English border.
The Henrician religious reformation in England nevertheless impacted on Scotland and
the Scottish Hospitallers, whose headquarters or Preceptory had been at Torphichen (near
Bathgate, midway between Edinburgh and Glasgow) for the 400 years since 1140. When the
religious reformation spread into Scotland, the last of the Scottish Preceptors of the Order,
Fra. James Sandilands, surrendered the Preceptory lands to the Crown in 1564.
And then, second, Henry VIII might not have succeeded in destroying the Order completely
within his realms. There were continuing reports that the English
Langue
continued operating
‘underground’ throughout the seven years of Henry’s remaining reign, during the six-year
reign of his Protestant son King Edward VI and then into Mary I’s reign. If, as likely, these
reports were true, the
Langue
continued in secret for at least 12 years despite the
Hospital of
Saint John of Jerusalem (Possessions, etc.) Act 1541
.
e Letters Patent of Queen Mary I and King Philip
Queen Mary I, unlike her father, half-brother (King
Edward VI) and half-sister (Queen Elizabeth I), was
never a Protestant. She was rst and foremost a devout
Roman Catholic who was intent on restoring England
to the Roman Catholic fold. She was also married to
a devout Catholic, King Philip II of Spain, a champion
of the Catholic cause in Reformation-era Europe.
Re-establishing the English
Langue
of the Order of

St John was therefore in keeping with Mary’s wish to
‘re-Catholicise’ her kingdom.
Mary and Philip issued their Letters Patent restoring
the
Langue
on 2 April 1557, almost four years after
Mary’s accession and 19 months before her death.
They were issued jointly in both Mary’s and Philip’s
names. Like other Letters Patent of the era, it was a
hand-crafted illuminated manuscript, written in Latin
on parchment in a neat Tudor era script, with the
margins elaborately and colourfully illustrated. The
loop of the initial letter, ‘P’, of the opening phrase,

Philippus et Maria…
’, forms the frame of a portrait of
Mary and Philip seated side-by-side on their throne.
Force and eect of the Letters Patent
But what did Mary’s–Philip’s Letters Patent actually say? Essentially, they authorised the
Archbishop of Canterbury (the principal cleric in England), Reginald Cardinal Pole, to
restore the Order. They did so in characteristically verbose manner. In translation, the two
key sentences read as follows (with the critical phrases emphasised here in italic):
For that purpose, recollecting and calling to mind the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem,
which was lately suppressed in England, its revenues diverted into the hands and possession
of King Henry VIII, the beloved father of our aforesaid Queen, and which, after the death of
Queen Mary 1 was the Queen of England
and Ireland from July 1553 until her death
in 1558. Portrait by Antonis Mor, 1554.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_I_of_England
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the said Henry VIII, father of our Queen, have in a similar manner come, by the hereditary
rights said Queen, into our hands; furthermore, having most easily and clearly recognized
and perceived the fact that before the above mentioned Hospital was dissolved, the great
part of its possessions and revenues were wont to be employed, devoted to, and expended
on
the defence of Christianity, and for warring against the Turks and Indels, and others who
openly annoyed the Catholic faith of Christ and our Mother the Holy Church
, by the Prior
and military brethren of the said Hospital; which Prior and military brethren not only have
renounced this world with all its vanities, but have also been wont, when time and occasion
called for it, with their utmost strength and aid to expend wealth, blood and life itself, in
ghting against the Turks and Indels all over the world;
Therefore we are most earnestly desirous, having carefully considered the measure, with
the fervent piety which we owe towards the defence and extension of the Catholic faith,

to renew, restore, create, institute and establish the sacred Order and religion of the English
brothers of St John of Jerusalem in this our Kingdom of England
, with their accustomed titles,
style and dignities; and also to adorn and decorate the said religion, or Order, with all
the old manors, lands, tenements, possessions, hereditaments, privileges and prerogatives
which formerly belonged to the said Hospital, and which have come to, and now remain in,
our hands, for the support of the dignity of the said Order.
In short, the Letters Patent sought to return the Order of St John to its previous pre-1539
standing in England.
The illuminated Letters Patent issued on 2 April 1557 to re-instate the Order of
St John in England. The elaborately decorated initial letter ‘P’ in the Letters Patent
includes a detailed portrait of King Philip and Queen Mary sitting side by side on the
throne of England. The Letters Patent were promulgated under their joint names.
http://museumstjohn.org.uk/collections/letters-patent-of-queen-mary-tudor-and-king-philip-ii/
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But how much weight did the Letters Patent carry? Well, it had the full force of the law
because it was lawfully granted; and Mary as Queen had the power to issue Letters Patent
like this. Further, in the Tudor era, before the rise of the present notion of the constitutional
monarchy, the royal prerogative included the power to institute religious orders without an
act of parliament. We may therefore conclude that Mary was acting within her rights and that
her Letters Patent was accordingly a valid legal instrument.
Unfortunately for the Order, however, its English
Langue
could not be fully restored. As
seen, Mary I died the year after issuing the Letters Patent; and by coincidence Cardinal Pole
died the same day, 17 November 1558. Meanwhile, the Order in England had long since been
dismembered. Moreover, its former estates had been sold o; and whether they could be
restored to the Order was problematic. In any case, Mary was succeeded by her Protestant
half-sister, Elizabeth I, who quickly ordered the enforcement of the previous Henrician
legislation in relation to the Catholic Church and its adherents.
At the same time, the English
Langue
had not yet disappeared entirely. Its Scottish Preceptory
continued for another six years, until 1564, when the Prior in Scotland surrendered the
Order’s property to the Crown. In the meantime, both English and Scottish Knights continued
serving within the Order in Malta.
The Hospitallers in England lost everything during the dissolution of the monasteries.
Conscated by the Crown, their estates were sold o and their buildings diverted to
other uses. For example, under private ownership their Commandery at Swingeld,
Kent, became a farm building.
Shown here in an 1807 copper engraving, it had become a dilapidated barn. Swingeld
was a former Templar property granted to the Hospitallers after the Templars’
suppression in 1306. The central front section of the building section was eventually
restored and survives to the present.
Published in
The Beauties of England and Wales
, 1807. Recent hand colouring. Size 14.5 x 11 cms including
title, plus margins. http://www.ancestryimages.com/proddetail.php?prod=f1170
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Did the
Langue
remain extant post 1558?
The short answer to such a question is that of course it did. From the Order’s point of view,
while there were still professed English Knights, the
Langue
continued in fact and by custom,
regardless of the anti-Order legislation enacted by the English parliament. By virtue of
Queen Mary’s and King Philip’s Letters Patent of 2 April 1557, the
Langue
also remained a
legal entity in England and Ireland. And as that Letters Patent was never rescinded, either by
Elizabeth I or her successors, it is possible to argue that the
Langue
continued on in England
as a legal entity, in theory if not in practice.
That was an argument favoured by the late Professor
Anthony R Mellows (1936–2016), Lord Prior of the
Most Venerable Order of St John (2008–2014)
and an eminent legal scholar who, among other
appointments, was Dean of the Faculty of Laws in the
University of London. He argued along these lines in an
article in
St John History
, Volume 12 (2012). He wrote
that the parent Order, based in Malta from 1530 (i.e.
before the Henrician Reformation in England), ‘could
treat the
Langue
of England as continuing to exist
notwithstanding that the [Order’s] corporation in
England [i.e. the former English Grand Priory] came
to an end’.
The Mellows argument depends on seeing the
Langue
and Grand Priory of England as dierent
entities. The former, Professor Mellows argued, was a
religious
entity made up of monks who
were also professed Knights. The latter, he argued, was a
property-owning
corporation. The
Langue
, according to Professor Mellows, continued in existence, both ‘in fact and in law’,
even though the Grand Priory had been abolished, rst in 1539–41 by Henry VIII and again
in 1558 by Elizabeth I.
e 1831 ‘revival’ of the
Langue
of England
The Mellows argument also depends on the assumption that the men who ‘revived’ the
Langue

of England in 1831 were within their rights in doing so. Whether or not they had the power
and authority to resuscitate a legal entity that had been dormant for over 270 years is a moot
point.
I won’t dwell on this matter, because it has been much written about previously. All I need say
is that the French Knights and their English accomplices who ‘revived’ the
Langue
of England
in the period 1827–1831 relied on an argument much the same as that of Professor Mellows.
The
Langue
, they believed, was in abeyance not abolished; and so as Knights of the Order they
were able to reactivate it.
The rest, as the saying goes, is history. In the period 1831–1858 the ‘revived’
Langue
sought
recognition from the parent Order. When that was denied in 1858, its members chose to
establish their organisation as a separate Order in its own right. Within three decades, the new
Order’s good works through its St John Ambulance and Jerusalem Eye Hospital foundations
brought it into favour with Queen Victoria. She conferred ocial status upon it through her
Royal Charter of 1888. The Charter made it
both
a royal order of chivalry
and
a ‘recognised’
Order of St John.
The late Professor Anthony Mellows
(1936–2016), argued that the Order has
directly and legitimately descended from
the Hospitallers’ Langue of England

‘in fact and in law’.
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Is there an ‘ancient relationship’ between the Most Venerable Order and its ‘parent’, the
Sovereign Military Hospitaller Order of Malta?
Professor Mellows would have answered this question in the armative. The 1831 ‘Revival’,
he believed, was a legitimate act by a group of Knights of the Order acting in good faith
in the sincere belief that that they had the authority to take the action they did. At the
time, the Order was in disarray, still seeking to re-establish itself after its ejection from
Malta, still searching for a permanent home and still rediscovering itself after its bizarrely
anomalous sojourn in Russia under a Grand Master who was not only a Romanov Tsar but
was neither Catholic (he was Russian Orthodox) nor a celibate monk–knight. Under the
circumstances, the ‘revived’ Langue could legitimately claim direct descent from the ancient
Knights Hospitaller.
Not all students of the history of the Most Venerable Order would agree with this summation
of the situation. Most of those I know are perturbed about the 273-year period between
1558–1831, when the
Langue
was non-operational if not actually defunct. ‘Can any entity,
legal or otherwise, be resuscitated after such a long period of dormancy?’ they ask.
I won’t canvass all the viewpoints ‘pro’ and ‘con’. Instead, I’ll conclude by citing the views of
just two members of the Most Venerable Order who together have previously pondered this
issue: Professor Jonathan Riley-Smith, the Librarian of our Order, and myself (we discussed
the matter at length in 2006–2007). We have each used the analogy of the family to explain
our viewpoints:
1.
Jonathan regards the Most Venerable Order as the illegitimate ospring of the old
Hospitaller family — ‘A wayward son sired an illegitimate ospring in the village’.
2.
I myself prefer to see the Most Venerable Order as an adopted adolescent member of
the family — ‘No biological link to the parents or their ancestors, but accepted as part of
the family’.
There’s also a third viewpoint — that of the Editor of St John History, Ian Howie-Willis, who
states the situation like this:
3.
‘Someone with the same surname as that of an ancient noble family discovers he has a
remote and indirect genealogical connection with it; and, assuming he’s a member of the
family, convinces its other members of the validity of his claim to be one of them’.
What do
you
think? Whatever it is, we can be fairly sure that St John historians will continue
debating the origins of the Most Venerable Order for as long as there are people who become
St John historians!
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St John without the ambulance.

How history has shaped the past,
present and future of St John of
Scotland
Richard Waller OStJ
Like Dr Who, who navigates time–space in a police box bearing the St John Ambulance
logo, I’m going to take you on a journey through time; to days long ago, then up to the
present and then forward into the future. The Dr Who fans amongst you will readily recognise
the wonderful piece of product placement on the Doctor’s TARDIS time machine. Having
our logo on the TARDIS nightly places the St John name and emblem before a world-wide
audience of multi-millions, earning us free publicity that we could never aord to buy. (Of
course, the badge changes to the new logo whenever the good Doctor travels beyond the
2014 logo implementation deadline but it’s still good free publicity.)
I hope to show you how history has shaped the past, present and future of St John Scotland.

So, hold onto your seats then as we travel through space and time back to 12th century
Scotland.
As most of you know, some of those who went on the First Crusade in the late 11th century
were inspired by a hospice in Jerusalem. When they went back to their own countries, they
started similar activities. Those inspired people included Crusaders from England, Ireland,
Scotland and Wales and in time they formed the Tongue of England. Bearing in mind what
the then Lord Prior, Professor Mellows, said in a talk about members of a Tongue or ‘Langue’
all speaking a language they would more or less understand, perhaps we should research
whether a Glaswegian Tongue was ever established.
The Scottish element of the English Tongue began activities in various parts of their country.
The Order’s rst property in Scotland was at Torphichen. Torphichen is a village midway
between Edinburgh and Glasgow. The property was established on the invitation of King David
I of Scotland, who lived from 1083 to 1153. Other properties were acquired in Scotland but
this one became the Order’s administrative centre in Scotland. It was known as a ‘Preceptory’.
The buildings included a church, a hospital and accommodation for Order members who
worked there. A glassless window in an internal church wall gives a view down onto the
transepts from a rst oor neighbouring room and allowed hospital patients to participate
in church services as best they could but without the risk of infecting other members of the
congregation. A house was provided for the Preceptor of Torphichen, who was the Order’s
senior representative in Scotland. The Preceptor was made a lord of Parliament with the title
Lord St John.
The Order had the right of Great Sanctuary at Torphichen and granted protection to all who
claimed sanctuary within one mile of the Preceptory. The boundary was marked by large
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As a mark of special favour from Mary Queen of Scots, the Preceptor was given the right
to include a crown and a thistle in his coat of arms. This was the rst time a subject had been
granted a thistle as a heraldic charge. In his paper ‘From Langue to Order’, Professor Mellows
referred to dress codes and St John, so I should perhaps point out that the rather scanty
attire of the two large gentlemen in of the coat of arms is a reection of Scotland’s tropical
climate at that time.
Let’s now set the time travel dial forward 400 years to the middle of the 16th century. This
was a time when the Reformation movement in Europe was resulting in a breaking away from
the Catholic Church centred on Rome. Under King Henry VIII, Order property in England
was conscated and the Order ceased to exist there. It lasted a little longer in Scotland but
ultimately Mary Queen of Scots transferred Order property into the Barony of Torphichen
in return for a single payment of 10,000 crowns and an annual payment of 500 merks (a
Scottish silver coin). The title Lord St John was abolished but the Queen created the title Lord
Torphichen for the last Lord St John. That was in 1564 and that title has been in continuous
use since then through the Sandilands family right up to the 15th Lord Torphichen today. He
still owns the Preceptory which is under the care of the conservation body called Historic
Scotland. Volunteers from St John Scotland open the Preceptory to the public for weekends
over much of the year. Also, we hold a service there every year on a Sunday in August.
The remains of the Torphichen
Preceptory of the Knights Hospitaller,
between Edinburgh and Glasgow, now
the spiritual home of the modern Order
of St John in Scotland.
The tall building of the Torphichen
Preceptory at the left. Once the
residence of the Scottish Hospitallers, it
now serves as a St John museum.
The seventeenth century church, added
to it at the right, is a parish church of the
Church of Scotland.
Waller
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Now I want to bring you forward 300 years—from the 16th to the 19th centuries and to the
beginning of the St John Ambulance Association in 1877. In Scotland, the earliest rst aid
lectures were given in Aberdeen in 1879 with the next following soon after in Glasgow and
then as far aeld as Dumfries in the south-west, the Shetland Islands, Hawick in the Borders
and Dingwall in the north-east.
Five years after this, a Scottish organisation was formed called St Andrew’s Ambulance
Association. St Andrew is the patron saint of Scotland. Like St John, St Andrews developed a
uniformed body and it was operating in the north of England as well as Scotland. For 26 years
the two organisations co-existed and then, in 1908, they conferred together about entering
into a close working relationship. In the event, they agreed to do the exact opposite so that St
John undertook to stop any rst aid activity north of the border, in Scotland, and St Andrews
likewise south of the border.
As a result of that agreement, St John withdrew from Scotland in 1908. There were thoughts
about doing things other than rst aid but these were interrupted by World War I.
So, as you’ll appreciate, the year 1908 is a very signicant date in history for St John Scotland
in terms of shaping our past, present and future. The other thing I nd about 1908 is that the
older I get the more recent it seems to become—quite fascinating.
Similar thoughts were revived after World War I but then World War II came along. However,
in the closing months of that war, three Scottish Knights of the Order met in Glasgow and a
Committee for Scottish Aairs was set up to begin activities in Scotland. Plans reected that
there was at that time no National Health Service—that is to say that there was very little
healthcare funded by the government.
As an early priority, a hospital was opened in Glasgow in 1947 and twenty Medical Comfort
Depots were set up across Scotland. These depots met temporary needs for wheelchairs,
walking sticks and similar aids and other items for patient use. In that same year, 1947,
the Priory of Scotland was created and its rst Prior, the Earl of Lindsay, was installed as
the Prior by the Grand Prior His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester at the Palace of
Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh.
The coat of arms granted by Mary Queen
of Scots to the Preceptor of Torphichen.
It depicts two burly chaps in tropical attire
supporting a shield bearing the royal
supports.
Waller
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In 1948, a further eleven Medical Comfort Depots were opened and in 1949 a Nursing
Home, with a nurses’ residence, was opened in Aberdeen. So, from a standing start, the
Scottish Priory very quickly got up to quite a high speed. The rst of the Priory’s homes
for elderly people was opened in 1950. A replacement hospital was opened in Glasgow, in
1956, and in time the nursing home in Aberdeen developed into a hospital. Over the years,
other homes were opened. Some of them were for permanent residents and some to provide
holiday breaks for dependants and their carers. For various reasons, most of these homes
were phased out over the years but we still have a holiday home on the edge of the Highlands,
especially adapted for wheelchair users, and, in central Scotland, a retirement complex of
thirteen ats.
The Priory had to continually adapt over the years as the National Health Service came on
stream. Initially, for example, the hospital in Aberdeen had a fundraising committee which
raised money to pay for operations for people who could not otherwise aord them, but
gradually the need for this disappeared. That hospital continued to be run by St John for many
years but was eventually sold in 1995. This released a large capital sum which was invested and
has been used to nance other projects.
The main such project has been our support of Scottish mountain rescue teams and other
voluntary rescue organisations. There had been limited support of some teams over the years
but the injection of capital from the hospital allowed us to make a major commitment. In
1999, we undertook to provide all teams with a vehicle at the rate of four a year. All 27 teams
received a St John vehicle and last year we began a rolling programme to provide them with a
second vehicle. Most teams choose a Land Rover and we arranged a 13% discount from Land
Rover for the teams.
The Arran Pipe Band entertain the
audience at the opening of the new

St John-supported rescue base on Arran
Island.
HRH Prince Richard, the Grand Prior,
presents a ceremonial ‘key’ in the shape
of an ice-axe to the rescue team leader
after opening the new base of the Ochils
Rescue Team.
Waller
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When we sold the hospital in Aberdeen we agreed to rehouse the Aberdeen Mountain
Rescue Team, which had been using a garage in the hospital grounds for their vehicle and
equipment. We funded a purpose-built base for them closer to their operational area. As
you might imagine, the news soon got round the other teams and we became aware that
several of them were having to operate out of small domestic garages or even just bare metal
containers on a mountainside.
Provision of a base makes a big dierence to a team’s ability to train eectively, maintain
its equipment and operate eciently. We have provided bases for ten teams, most of them
purpose-built and we have requests for a further six in the pipeline. Three of these bases have
been opened by the Duke of Gloucester. The bases are owned by St John Scotland and are
made freely available to the teams.
All the teams are aliated to the Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland and we work very
closely with them also. The rst chairman I worked with was called Willie Marshall. Willie’s day
job was at the nuclear research establishment at Dounreay right on the very northern tip of
Scotland. In my frequent phone calls to him during the working day there often seemed to
be loudspeaker announcements going on in the background. Sometimes I wondered if there
were a major nuclear drama going on but Willie always seemed totally relaxed. I will always
remember that one day when I rang him I started o by saying ‘Hallo Willie, I hope I’m not
disturbing you’, to which he responded, ‘Richard; how could you possibly be disturbing me,
I’m at work!’.
Willie and his committee advised us on the order of priority for teams to receive our funding
for their vehicles. Funnily enough, his vehicle was in the very rst batch—but I’m sure that
was purely coincidental. We always like to have a handover presentation partly to get publicity
for the teams and ourselves. When it came to Willie’s team, the press photographers asked
if the vehicle could be driven o the road onto a very steep piece of ground so as to make a
more dramatic picture. That was ne but when the team came to drive it back onto the road
it got well and truly stuck and had to be towed o. Fortunately the photographers had left
by that stage.
4-wheel drive Land Rovers provided to Scottish
Mountain Rescue Support by St John in
Scotland.
Left is the Arran Island vehicle; centre, the
vehicle based at Moat; and bottom, is the
Lomond vehicle.
Waller
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Some time after that we wondered if there was a jinx about vehicle presentations involving
the Chairmen of the Mountain Rescue Committee of Scotland because one of Willie’s
successors was at a presentation when the team found that an interior light had been left
on when the vehicle had last been put away in the garage and this had drained the battery.
The vehicle couldn’t be pushed out because it was fully laden with heavy equipment and the
garage exit was facing uphill. Again, we were lucky with the press as they couldn’t come on
that occasion. I hasten to add that such hitches with the teams are very unusual.
Still with rescue, we have been the major donor for two rescue boats: one on Loch Lomond
and one on the River Nith near the Solway Firth with its very fast moving tides. We also
support the Search and Rescue Dog Association.
As well as conducting search and rescue operations in mountainous, hilly or remote countrside,
the Mountain Rescue Teams also operate in urban and semi-urban environments. Quite
often they work with the rescue boats and the search and rescue dogs. With the UK’s care
in the community policy and growing numbers of people suering from dementia they are
increasingly involved in looking for mainly elderly people who have gone missing. They use the
specialist computer programs they have developed for conducting all their searches. Speed is
of the essence, of course, and there was one case where a dog working with a team found an
elderly confused lady who had crawled deep into a thick growth of bushes and curled up and
would have succumbed to the cold before too much longer. In another remarkable, though
tragic case, a dog with a team followed the trail of an elderly gentleman to the side of a loch
and the dog swam out a little way and then just kept swimming in circles right above the spot
where the man was found drowned.
St John-supported inshore rescue boats. Left is the boat
of the Nith River Rescue service in south-west Scotland,
and below, the Lomond rescue boat returns to its base on
Loch Lomond, the entry to the Highlands.
Waller
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The dogs are largely responsible for the title of this talk, ‘St John without the ambulance’. We
sponsored a conference in Edinburgh for rescue teams from throughout the United Kingdom
and one of the lectures was called ‘Why search and rescue dogs are completely useless’. As
you might imagine, it was very well attended because some people went out of curiosity
alone. The title achieved its aim because lots of folk then got the message that the dogs nd
their job so much more dicult if by the time they get to the search area lots of humans
have been stomping around breaking up the scent trail. And well spotted by you folk that
the rescue dogs in the slides I’m displaying are of the obligatory St John colours: black and
white. (That’s also because they’re Border Collies, a hardy, highly intelligent breed with great
stamina.)
A volunteer of the St John-supported
Scottish Search and Rescue Dog
Association plus his black-and-white
companion heading o on a search and
rescue mission.
Waller
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I’d like now to tell you something of the other activities of St John Scotland. Another national
project we have is helping provide vehicles (often wheelchair accessible) to groups in need.
Many of our activities are at area level. We have twelve areas of varying size, all with a volunteer
chairman and committee. Each area raises funds and some have their own activities. These
activities include patient transport services in two areas. Some of this transport is provided
with St John vehicles and some of it with volunteers using their own cars. The people who
benet are mainly those receiving chemo- or radiotherapy or kidney dialysis. Two areas
support palliative care. There is a St John Day Room in a hospice in Perth in the centre of
Scotland. In the hospital in Stranraer, in the south-west of Scotland, there is a twin-bedded
St John palliative care unit with a visitors’ room and also a treatment room which reduces
the need for people to travel to bigger hospitals in Glasgow or Edinburgh. A similar previous

St John unit was opened by Her Majesty The Queen in 1996 during a visit to Stranraer in
the Royal Yacht. That area also sponsors related medical conferences, the provision of nurses
in people’s homes, and a link nurse who helps co-ordinate the provision of information and
support to cancer suerers and their families. Most of the areas also support local charitable
causes, generally through other organisations rather than directly.
Moving now beyond Scotland’s borders, much of our charitable output goes into helping

St John elsewhere. We have always supported the St John Jerusalem Eye Hospital. For
many years now, we have sponsored the Medical Director. We help resource the library and
contribute to the Patient Relief Fund.
The 1999 reorganisation of the Order internationally increased our awareness of all the good
work going on in the forty or more countries in which St John operates and also of ways
in which we could help it. As a result we have formed a close liaison with St John Malawi,
coincidentally reinforcing the strong links which exist between Scotland and Malawi through
the 19th century Scottish explorer, Dr David Livingstone; another impact of history on

St John Scotland’s present and future. For several years now we have helped fund St John
Malawi’s Primary Health Care project which helps reduce infant mortality and otherwise
improve health in the country’s poor townships. We also bought a vehicle for them, and are
helping meet the expenses of them expanding into other parts of Malawi and will shortly be
helping fund a project to help seriously ill people be cared for in their own homes.
As well as aiding the rescue services at home, abroad the Priory
of Scotland generously supports the St John Jerusalem Eye
Hospital (above) and the work of St John Ambulance in Malawi,
East Africa (right).
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I promised you a glimpse of the future. Perhaps this is anathema to a historical society so
maybe I’d better call it the history of the future. As you have heard, we have had to adapt
our activities to match changing circumstances. Some might say we are a charity in search of
a cause. In a sense this would be correct. With the 1908 agreement with St Andrew’s still in
place we do not engage in the one activity for which St John is so well known—rst aid—and
certainly a holy grail for us is an activity which could be engaged in by our supporters across
Scotland and which would give us the sort of ready identity that rst aid does for St John
elsewhere.
Our current search for this holy grail has encompassed the activities of St John in other
countries, including Australia. In an exciting development we are becoming involved in First
Responder groups. This is thanks to an open-minded and exible stance by St Andrew’s
Ambulance in relation to the 1908 agreement. They acknowledged that rst response—which
is geared to heart attacks—is not the same as rst aid. Also, St Andrew’s had no immediate
plans to begin that activity themselves and they recognised that there is, anyway, ample room
for many providers to meet the demand. We have just begun a pilot trial setting up First
Responder groups in the Angus and Dundee area. This is in close liaison with the Scottish
Ambulance Service.
Above, St John House, the 18th century
building in St John Street, Edinburgh,
which is the headquarters of the Priory
of Scotland, and the (right) the archway
leading from St John Street to the
Cannongate section of the Royal Mile.
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Well, I musn’t risk discombobulating the historical convention by leaving us all stranded
somewhere in the future. An apt way of bringing you back to the history of the past is to
take you to the national oce of St John Scotland. We are most fortunate in having a very
attractive early 18th century building. The front gates bear the coat of arms of the Priory,
quite unusual in having two royal crowns on the same heraldic device: the crown of Scotland
and the crown of England. And the thistle makes a nice link to the arms of Lord Torphichen.
Again to our great good fortune, the house is in St John Street in a part of Edinburgh said
to have been lived in by Knights of St John in pre-Reformation days when they owned the
Canongate Estate. Nearby there is St John Hill and on the Royal Mile there is marked in
the roadway the site of the St John Cross. It used to be a standing cross and it marked the
boundary between the city of Edinburgh and the Burgh of Regality of the Canongate. On his
rst visit to Edinburgh in 1633, King Charles I was ceremoniously greeted at the cross by the
Lord Provost of Edinburgh whom he promptly knighted. The cross was about three quarters
of the way down the Royal Mile, the long straight street leading from Edinburgh Castle at the
top down to the Palace of Holyrood House at the bottom. Today the site is marked by a white
eight-pointed cross of St John painted on the roadway. So it is quite unusual, perhaps unique,
in being a St John cross which is driven and walked over by thousands of people every day.
I am most fortunate to have in my oce a bureau made for the 21st Grand Master of the
Order, Raymond Perrellos y Roccaful. As everyone here will know, he was the Grand Master
from 1697 to 1720. Amongst other things, he is noted for being the donor of the magnicent
Gobelin Tapestries to be seen in the Cathedral of St John in Malta and for his re-organisation
of the Order’s eet. The desk was in Perrellos y Roccaful’s cabin on his agship,
San Raymondo
,
The road marker on the Royal Mile, Edinburgh, indicating
where the mediaeval St John Cross once stood. A capitular
procession of the Priory of Scotland making its way towards the
Cannongate Kirk in the Royal Mile, Edinburgh, for a celebration
of the work of St John. Members of the fraternal Orders of

St John lead the procession.
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which he built around 1689, and named after his patron saint. The bureau displays the armorial
bearings of Grand Master Perellos—three pears—quartered by the cross of the Order and
surmounted by the Crown of a Prince of the Holy Roman Empire. Intriguingly, on each side
of the bureau there is a depiction of Britannia wearing a helmet and holding a shield and with
a lion by her side. This indicates that the bureau might have been made after the 1707 Act of
Union between England and Scotland and was perhaps a gift from a representative of Britain.
Another treasure is our Priory Sword. This was made by Wilkinson for the installation of
Albert Edward Duke of Rothesay (also the Prince of Wales), as the rst royal Grand Prior of
the Order on 18 July 1888. It was generously given by Chapter-General to the Priory on its
creation in 1947. Both these treasures would be good items for the TV program ‘Antiques
Roadshow’, and, with other possessions, serve to help shape our present and future by keeping
us constantly reminded of our rich heritage.
Well, after that nal burst of time travel we bid farewell to the TARDIS now that it has
brought us back into the present. And nally, in the same way as people attending the
mountain rescue conference learned about what lay behind the title of that talk ‘Why search
and rescue dogs are completely useless’, I hope you now have a better idea of what lies behind
‘St John without the ambulance‘.
The bureau built for Raymond Perrellos
y Roccaful, Grand Master of the Order
1697–1720, during its sojourn on Malta.
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‘e Good Samaritan’.

International imagery as a metaphor
for the work of St John Ambulance
John Pearn
The Order of St John, founded by Queen Victoria in 1888, had as its basic
raison d’être,
the ethos of the Good Samaritan. Recounted in the Gospel of St Luke, the Parable of
the Good Samaritan is an extended metaphor not just for care and compassion, but for
proactive humanitarian intervention to help those in need, irrespective of country, class
or creed. Its message thus transcends issues of faith, or lack of it; and is the basis of the
international secular world in which all enlightened citizens would wish to live. Every rst
aid class that is taught empowers its members to be a Good Samaritan in their future
lives. Every uniformed member of St John Ambulance signals—by his or her uniform,
discipline and training—that they are a Good Samaritan.
Similarly, those who serve in any of the many charitable endeavours of St John, and those
who support the St John Eye Hospital in Jerusalem (and other national and international
ophthalmic outreach programmes) do so in the spirit of the Good Samaritan. The
Samaritan metaphor is encountered throughout the western world in the names of
hospitals, hospices, refuges, ambulance services, aid societies and charitable associations.
The iconographic image of the Good Samaritan is engraved on seals; is cast on medals;
and is illustrated on postage stamps. The tableau of the Good Samaritan is portrayed in
statuary and is a theme depicted extensively in stained glass windows in churches and
hospitals.
The beauty of these iconographic images serves a three-fold purpose. They engender
inspiration. They are a pictorial exhortation to encourage the viewer to render inter-
personal help not only as a duty, but occasionally as a supererogatory act; and, if need
be, as an altruistic gift. Collectively, the iconography of the Good Samaritan comprises
an archive of history and heritage which is the fundamental basis of all St John service.
The Parable of the Good Samaritan exerts a profound and enduring inuence in contemporary
society. The Parable was orally recounted by Christ more than two thousand years ago. It
was recorded in script ve decades later,
c.
70–90 AD, by the Jewish physician, Luke. The
allegory of the Good Samaritan has become the basis for ethical behaviour throughout the
enlightened international secular world.
Every rescue organisation and every life saving society, every civilian ambulance and paramedic
service, every military medical corps, every volunteer charity or philanthropic society working
in healthcare—all have their terms of reference based on the Parable of the Good Samaritan.
The message of the Good Samaritan transcends dierences of faith, or lack of it. From its
basis in the heritage of Christendom it extends today as an impost throughout all civilian and
military societies. Its message of obligation, to help those in need, is the basis not only of
those of religious faith; but has been central to much philosophical debate and psychological
research. In 1851, the French philosopher, Auguste Comte (1798-1957), coined the word

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‘altruisme’ from the Latin word for ‘others’. He developed an argument, based on the history
of humanism and ethics (rather than that of revealed or received wisdom), that altruism could
be the basis of a secular or ‘non-religious religion’.
1
Comte dened altruism as
an intentional action, ultimately for the welfare of others that entails at least a possibility
of either no benet or a loss to the actor.
2
The Good Samaritan ethic has also been incorporated in a number of secular laws which make
the rendering of emergency aid a civic impost in some jurisadictions.
3
The Good Samaritan
parable has become a metaphor widely enshrined in the names of hospitals and refuges, in
the titles of philanthropic and charitable institutions, in statuary and stained glass windows,
4

on postage stamps,
5
and on seals and medals.
6
A Samaritan Society was established by the
Governors of The London Hospital in 1791.
7
Scores of hospitals in the United States of
America bear the Good Samaritan name. Statuary in the Tuileries Museum in Paris records
the parable. Almost all the great painters whose works survive, from post-Renaissance times
to the turn of the century, have documented the scenes which comprise the Good Samaritan
story. Seals and medals of both The London Hospital
8
and The Westminister Hospital
9
in
London portray the giving of emergency help to the injured. In Melbourne, more than

40 churches have stained glass windows which feature the Good Samaritan theme.
4

This paper brings together some of this Samaritan iconography; and documents some
examples of particular relevance to the history and heritage of the Order of St John, founded
specically on the principles of the Good Samaritan.
e Parable and the Order of St John
So pervasive and powerful has become the message contained in the Parable of the Good
Samaritan, that the metonymic term, ‘Samaritan’, has come to embody the whole message
of rescue, treatment, transport and sustained care until a crisis has passed. Historians are
interested in the evolution of this concept; and St John historians particularly seek to analyse,
critically review and record this development of a concept which has become so pervasive
that there exists a danger that it may be taken for granted.
The Parable of the Good Samaritan was recorded for posterity by the Jewish physician, Luke.
Luke was born and practised in what is today southern Turkey. He travelled to Antioch in Syria
and died, probably aged 84 years, in Boeotia, near Athens. Few authors have left a report of a
simple speech which has been more quoted. Today, if one were writing a book entitled ‘Great
Speeches of the World’, this one brief delivery, the Parable of the Good Samaritan, would be
‘up there with the best’.
10
There are few explicit references of the Good Samaritan in the surviving literary archives
of the Crusades; and even fewer of the Knights Hospitaller within the Order of St John
in particular.
11
The rst Order of St John was established by a Papal Bull in 1113 AD.
12

Subsequently, the ethos of the Good Samaritan formed part of the doctrine of many of the
derivative Orders of St John in post-Crusade and later post-medieval Europe.
The Parable has three essential elements. First, the Parable is an exhortation for the voluntary
pro-active rendering of aid and shelter to those who are injured or sick, irrespective of who
the victim is. Secondly, the implied impost to help applies to all ‘on the spot’. Thirdly, there
is an exhortation that there be follow-through—that is, the obligation to render help is not
just in a momentary or crisis sense, but one which continues until the victim is safe and
secure. The rst element of samaritanism, the non-discriminatory oering of help, saw its
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practical embodiment in the Georgian charities which developed in the eighteenth century;
and later in the Geneva Conventions in 1864. In battle, when an individual is
hors de combat
,
samaritanism becomes the over-riding ethic with the provision of rescue, shelter and medical
care to combatants on both sides of conict, that is to one’s enemy.
It was the Prussian military surgeon, Friedrich von Esmarch (1823–1908), who invented the
concept of bystander rst aid, in the military context. Von Esmarch was the rst to coin the
term ‘Erste Hilfe’, or ‘First Aid’. His concepts originally were self-help, or self-applied rst
aid; with some rudimentary training for soldiers to bandage themselves if they were wounded
in battle, and if they were physically able to do so.
13
In 1851 he invented the triangular bandage
and had it issued to soldiers (1869) as the central piece of equipment in a personal rst aid
kit.
13
Twenty-seven years later, in 1878, Surgeon Major Peter Shepherd RAMC, based at
the Woolwich Arsenal and the Royal Herbert Hospital on the south bank of the Thames in
London, had the brilliant concept of bringing the drills and skills of the military stretcher-
bearers to the general public.
13,14
He used von Esmarch’s term, ‘First Aid’ for the rst time in
English. Shepherd’s book,
Aids to the Injured
,
15
and its English successors, the many editions
of the ‘Little Black Book’,
16
have been (with the Bible) the collective two bestsellers of all time
in English-speaking countries.
After Shepherd’s success with the new Samaritan concept of rst aid for all, even civilians,
three years later in 1882 von Esmarch in Prussia published his rst work on rst aid following
accidents. He published a second book in 1883.
17
Von Esmarch founded the
Samariterwesen
,
a society to promote military nursing in Germany.
18
The Samaritan name came to be used
in many derivative forms over the ensuing century. Some of these have intriguing names.
The ‘Marie Celeste Samaritan Society’ operated a staed and custom-tted motorised
ambulance based at The London Hospital, in the impoverished and densely populated district
of Whitechapel in London, in the 1930s.
19
Today, the US-based charitable non-government
organisation, Samaritan’s Purse, deploys to the world’s trouble-spots and provides aid and
resources for the sick and injured.
20
In Western Australia, the Samaritans, often called ‘The
Sammies’ (originally founded as an outreach from the Uniting Church of Australia), perform
unobtrusive but essential support with the same terms of reference.
The third impost of the Parable exhorts the taking of responsibility for the victim until
convalescence is established. This enduring responsibility is summed up in the nal verse of
the Parable:
Take care of him; and whatsoever more thou spend,…I will repay thee.
21
Origins of Samaritan iconography
The Samaritan parable was portrayed in stained glass windows from medieval times. One of
the oldest surviving examples, a particularly beautiful one, is the Good Samaritan Window
at Chartres Cathedral in France.
22
The iconography of the Good Samaritan saw its modern
development in post-Renaissance Art, particularly in stained glass windows. William Hogarth
painted the Good Samaritan as a large oil painting for the staircase of St Bartholomew’s
Hospital in London in July 1737. In the United States of America, that Nation’s rst hospital,
the Pennsylvania Hospital, chose the image of the Good Samaritan as the Hospital’s Seal in
1751.
The theme of the Good Samaritan became a central one embodying Victorian principles of
altruism and courage in the second half of the 19
th
century. The proactive message of pragmatic
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help to the stricken was totally consonant with St Paul’s conjunction to the Galatians to ‘be not
weary in good works’, a central theme promoted particularly by Episcopalian (Lutheran and
Non-conformist). Dramatic scenes which depicted the parable of the Good Samaritan were
engraved by Gustav Dore to adorn books published in Germany in 1885.
23
In September 1891,
a Good Samaritan Hospital was opened in Charlotte, North Carolina, the rst exclusively for
black patients, and particularly for those who were freed slaves.
Samaritan iconography
Since medieval times, when the great majority of the population could neither read nor
write, the message of the Parable of the Good Samaritan was portrayed in pictorial form.
This tradition has continued, indeed intensied, and is encountered today in the names and
iconography of both religious and secular organisations. Paintings, statuary, medallic art and
stained glass windows tell the story of the Good Samaritan by direct visual communication.
The artistic treatment of the theme varied enormously from neo-Renaissance styles, through
Victorian hyperbole to semi-abstract portrayals of the scene. Some modern secular Samaritan
windows adopted an abstract or semi-abstract style. Others employ a modern, reductionary
treatment of faces and bodies. One such is the Good Samaritan window in the Chapel of the
Royal Adelaide Hospital in South Australia.
This medium of advocacy, example and exhortation can be seen in numerous domains
throughout the world. One of the most aesthetic media is that of the stained glass window,
where artists and glaziers have their work illuminated by back-light. This adds a lustrous
sensate component to the primary message of practical compassionate care for the stricken.
Samaritan windows
The stained glass ‘gallery’ of the Good Samaritan is diverse in style and content. The majority
of windows portray a single scene, in eect a metaphor for the Parable’s message. Sometimes,
the scene captures the moment when the Samaritan rst comes upon the injured victim
and supports him in a half-sitting position. Beautiful windows in the Church of St Eutrope
at Clermont-Ferrand in France
24
and at Christ Church Episcopal Cathedral in Louisville,
Kentucky
25
are examples. Other windows and statuary portray the action of administering
rst aid—specically pouring oil on the victim’s wounds and bandaging his injured head and
limbs. A ne window in the Chapel of the Royal Adelaide Hospital in South Australia has the
travelling Samaritan holding a ne bronzed jug to pour the oil onto the victim’s chest wounds.
Many single-scene portrayals show the shadowy gures of the Levite and the Jewish priest
‘passing by on the otherside’.
Other windows depict a tableau of sequential images, taking the viewer along the sequence
from the moment of cowardly assault on the traveller, on the Jerusalem-to-Jericho road;
to the point where the Good Samaritan gave what was in eect an open cheque to the
innkeeper for any necessary care and sanctuary for the injured man.
21
One of the most
beautiful examples is the nine-scene series on one of the oldest (13
th
century) windows, the
aforesaid Good Samaritan Window at Chartres Cathedral in France.
22
Some beautiful windows portray the metaphor in a specic national context. One, in the
Chapel of Cromwell College at the University of Queensland, portrays the Good Samaritan
as an Australian outback drover.
26
Another, the ne window in Northbridge Uniting Church
in Sydney, also depicts an Australian Samaritan scene.
27
Some Samaritan windows contain
anachronisms. One, a memorial window to the philanthropist George Henry Bosch (1861-
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1934),
28
shows the victim bandaged with the most sophisticated St John Ambulance scalp
bandage with herring-bone format, a technique rst portrayed in Dr Peter Shepherd’s ‘Little
Black Book’ of 1879.
16
Many windows are memorials to those whose lives have reected the central ethos of the
Parable. In practice, because of the
centrum
of emergency healthcare entailed in the Parable,
a number of Good Samaritan windows are memorials to paramedics, nurses and doctors.
The Beaney Memorial in Canterbury Cathedral is but one of many examples.
29
Perhaps the
most famous is the memorial statue to Thomas Guy (
c.
1644–1724), himself represented as
the Good Samaritan, in the hospital chapel of Guy’s Hospital which he had founded (as the
single benefactor) in London in 1721. The statue of Guy, as the Good Samaritan, was created
by John Bacon (1740–1799).
30
There is an irony in this memorial. Under Thomas Guy’s will,
his bequest to establish a hospital was specically to admit and treat the chronically ill and
incurables who were not accepted at either of London’s two other hospitals, St Thomas’ and
St Bartholomew’s:
Guy endowed his hospital to serve incurables [‘who is my neighbour?’] but the Board of
Governors soon took advantage of ambiguities in his will to admit acute cases. Before the
[eighteenth] century was out, Guy’s Hospital was refusing the incurables for whom it had
been founded.
31
They walked by, on the other side.
A particularly beautiful ‘medical’ Samaritan window is the West Window in All Saints’ Church,
Thurlestone in Devon.
32
Here a Good Samaritan window is surmounted by four ‘lights’,
symbolizing bandaging, the application of unguents, medical care and convalescent support.
An early window and one of the rst ‘secular’ windows to depict the Good Samaritan was an
intricate window donated to the Melbourne Hospital in 1878 by the controversial English
surgeon, the aforementioned Dr James Beaney (1828–1891).
29,33
James Beaney, born in
Canterbury in Kent, emigrated to Melbourne and became, it is believed, Australia’s richest
doctor. He wrote the rst medical text-book in Australia. Ahead of his time in the context
of the extreme medical conservatism of his day, Beaney was a amboyant, unrepentant
promoter of innovation in medical education and social healthcare. Dr Beaney commissioned
a beautiful Victorian-style Good Samaritan window and donated it the Melbourne Hospital
where he worked. It was fabricated by Ferguson and Urie at the enormous contemporary cost
of 150 pounds. Beaney’s Good Samaritan window was originally installed in the West Wing
of Melbourne Hospital; and today is displayed in the Food Court at the Clayton Campus of
the Monash Medical Centre.
34
Beaney returned to Kent and retired in Canterbury where his
philanthropy to Canterbury Cathedral was acknowledged in the form of an Alabaster statue
of the Good Samaritan ‘Dedicated to James Beaney MD’.
29

The most beautiful, even inspiring examples of the Parable, in glass, embody Ruskin’s ideal:
The true perfection of a painted window is to be serene, intense, brilliant, like aming
jewellery, full of energy, legible, with quaint subjects, and exquisitely subtle, yet simple in
its harmonies.
35
Whatever form or style the Good Samaritan windows take, most observers never fail to be
moved by their imagery, especially when one sees the motif back-lit by the sun.
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Military Samaritanism
The biblical account of the Good Samaritan, where the wounded assault victim is carried
on the Samaritan’s beast (probably a donkey, possibly a mule), has also been adopted for
military iconography portraying rescue and casualty transport. This ‘military samaritanism’
is seen extensively in statuary, paintings, medals,
6
coins and postage stamps
36
which portray
the Australian stretcher-bearer, Private John Simpson Kirkpatrick (1892–1915).
37,38
In this
context, one of Australia’s most beautiful Samaritan windows is ttingly in the Soldier’s Chapel
of the Cathedral Church of St Saviour in Goulburn, New South Wales. Another example is
seen in the Chapel of the Repatriation General Hospital, at Daw Park in Adelaide, Australia.
Because of its complexity, the Parable of the Good Samaritan is sometimes described as an
allegory, a more complicated account than a parable. The theological scholar, John Welch,
wrote that in contrast to a parable:
An allegory portrays a larger picture, puts numerous pieces of an intrical structure into
place, and helps to dene relationships between various parties or human aairs….the
typology pregures, or is a shadow of a deeper reality that stands behind the simple verbal
construct.
39
The deeper meaning of the Samaritan allegory relates to philosophical questions about the
reality of altruism. This theme has to do with the relationship of one person’s ‘contract’, or
potential contract with another. If one has a relationship to serve or supply a service, one
speaks of duty to the second person. ‘Supererogation’ is that voluntary service which goes
beyond implied or formal duty. If there is risk to the person providing the service, one speaks
of altruism.
40
Anthropologists point out that within groups of individuals, selshness or self-
interest always beats altruism. But between groups of individuals, altruistic groups always do
better. Thus when we cooperate, ‘we give our team the edge’. Although this is not a seless
motive, ‘teamwork is the signature adaptation of our species’.
41
When one views the iconography of the Good Samaritan one can thus see many things. One
can see a secular scene of robbery and assault and its aftermath. One can see an exhortation
to provide help and initiate and see through pragmatic action to help a person in need. One
can oneself, either as the victim or as the Good Samaritan, reect on the deeper issues of
duty, supererogation and altruism. The ethic of those who identify with the work of St John
can see all these messages; and can visualise a better world.
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Figure 1
‘The Good Samaritan’. Details from a terracotta trophy of the St John
Ambulance Brigad: the trophy for ‘Annual Competition between [South London]
Stations’. Sculpted
c.
1903 by George Tinworth and crafted at the Royal Doulton
porcelain and ceramics factory. Last presented in 1953. Courtesy of the St John
Museum, St John’s Gate London.
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Figure 2
Above: ve of nine scenes recounting the Parable of
the Good Samaritan: the top group of a medieval stained glass
window, Chartres Cathedral, France.
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Figure 3
Christ portrayed as the Good
Samaritan. Steel engraving from a deluxe
edition of the Bible, 1900, courtesy of
Holman and Company, Philadelphia, with
acknowledgements.
Figure 4The Good Samaritan. Oil on
canvas, 1849 by Eugne Delacroix
(1798-1863).
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Figure 5The Good Samaritan window, Church of St. Eutrope, Clermont-Ferrand,
France.
Figure 6The Good Samaritan window, with four medical thematic lights above, as part
of the West Windows Triptych in All Saints Church, Thurlestone, Devon, UK. Courtesy
of the Rector and Parochial Church Council and Mrs Jeanne James.
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Figure 7Detail of the Beaney Window featuring a scene from
the Parable of the Good Samaritan. Monash Medical Campus,
Melbourne, Australia.
Figure 8The Good Samaritan, Christ Church Episcopal
Cathedral, Louisville, Kentucky.
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Figure 9Online image of the Good Samaritan. Courtesy of
the unocial Information Service of the Latter Day Saints, with
acknowledgements.
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Figure 10
‘Simpson and his Donkey’—the Samaritan
ethic—combined with altruism in the
face of mortal risk. The model was Private
Dick Henderson, a stretcher-bearer of
the New Zealand 1st Field Ambulance.
The artist was Mr H. Moore Jones, of
Auckland, New Zealand.
Figure 11The statue entitled ‘The Man
with the Donkey’ in Ocean Road, South
Shields, Tyne and Wear (UK), by the
Tyneside sculptor, William Olley; and cast
in 1933.
Figure 12An Australian ve-dollar coin
minted in 1995, depicting ‘Simpson and
his Donkey’ in the Samaritan genre. Royal
Australian Mint, Canberra.
Pearn
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Acknowledgements
This work was made possible only by the help and encouragement of Mrs Jenny McLachlan
and Mr Kris Kamusinski of Brisbane; and Dr Ian Howie-Willis OAM of Canberra to whom are
accorded most sincere and grateful thanks.
References
1.
de Beer, Sir Gavin. ‘Social Evolution’, Section VIII in
Evolution
,
The New Encyclopaedia Britannica
. Macropaedia, Vol 7.
Chicago, Encyclopaedia Britannica Inc., 1974, 22.
2.
Douglas K. ‘The Greater Good’ in
New Scientist
2015, 225, 44.
3.
Tibballs J. ‘Legal liabilities for assistance and lack of assistance rendered by Good Samaritans, volunteers and their
organisations’ in
Insurance Law Journal
2005, 16, 254–80.
4.
Pearn JH. ‘Australian Iconography of the Good Samaritan’,
St John History
, 2016, 16, 83–88. St John Ambulance
Australia, Canberra.
5.
Pearn JH. ‘The Philately of the Order of St John’ in
St John History
, 2010, 10, 18–22. St John Ambulance Australia,
Canberra.
6.
Pearn JH. St John Medals and the Numismatic Heritage of Pre-Hospital Care.
St John History
, 2003, 2, 19–21. St John
Ambulance Australia, Canberra.
7.
Gibbs D.
Emblems, Tokens and Tickets of the London Hospital
(1740-1985) and
The London Hospital Medical College
(1785–1985). London, Denis Gibbs and Expression Printers Ltd., 1985, 8.
8.
Ibid
. 13–14.
9.
Ibid
. 27, Plate 4.
10.
Pearn JH. ‘St John and St Luke. The Foundation and Inuence of the Good Samaritan in Contemporary Australian
Life’ in
St John History
, 2003, 3, 23–25. St John Ambulance Australia, Canberra.
11.
Pearn JH. ‘The Crusades—A Conduit for Medical Knowledge’ in
Medicinal Herbs and Woundworts
. Brisbane, Amphion
Press, 1993, 13.
12.
Pearn JH and Howie-Willis I. ‘
Pie Postulatio Voluntatis
. The Papal Bull of 1113’ in
St John History
, 2014, 14, 70–73. St
John Ambulance Australia, Canberra.
13.
Pearn JH. ‘The earliest days of rst aid’ in
Brit Med J
, 1994; 309, 1718–20. [Note: Esmarch published his advocacy and
experience with the triangular bandage in ‘Der erste Verband auf dem Schlachtfelde’ in Kiel in 1869].
14.
Pearn JH. ‘A History of First Aid in Australia. The Evolution of Pre-Hospital Care’ in
Med J Aust
1998, 168, 38–41.
15.
Shepherd, P.
Aids to the Injured
. London, St John Ambulance Association, 1878.
16.
Pearn JH and Howie-Willis I. ‘Surgeon-Major Peter Shepherd and his ‘Little Black Book’’ in
St John History
, 2013, 13,
22–27. St John Ambulance Australia, Canberra.
17.
von Esmarch F.
Early Aid in Injuries and Accidents
. [Translation] Published initially by Princess Christina [later]
Philadelphia, Henry C. Lea’s Son and Co., 1883.
18.
Garrison FH.
An Introduction to the History of Medicine
. Fourth Edition. Philadelphia, WB Saunders Company, 1929,
594.
19.
[Editor]. ‘Luxury in Ambulance-body Design’ in
The Commercial Motor
. [Temple Press, Rosebery Avenue, EC1, London]
1938, July 8, 2518–38.
20.
Pearn JH.
Reection of Rwanda
. Brisbane, Amphion Press, 1995, 26.
21.
Holy Bible
, New Testament. The Gospel of St Luke 10: v. 37.
22.
Vadnal J. Chartres Cathedral Windows Creation and Good Samaritan. [from Delaporte’s
Vitreux
(p. 169); and
Deremble–Manhes No. 44]. Windows 4–12.
Accessed at
http://www.medart.pitt.edu/image/France/Chartres/Chartres-Cathedral/Windows/Noval-windows/44-
Creation-Samaritan/chartres-44ASamaritan -main.html
. Accessed 18/02/2015.
23.
Editor. Arrival of the Good Samaritan at the Inn. Engraving by Gustase Dore. In
The Holy Scriptures
. Stuttgart, 1885.
Accessed at
http://www.dreamtime.com/stock-images-arrival-good-samaritan-inn
. Accessed 12/02/2015.
24.
Anon. The Samaritan window at the Church of St Eutrope, Clermont-Ferrand. Accessed at
http://en.wikipadia.org/
wiki/Parable
of the Good Samaritan
. Accessed 18/01/2015.
25.
Anon. The Good Samaritan. Accessed at
http://www.luminosityquest.com/?p=696
. Accessed 18/01/2015.
26.
Anon. ‘The Good Samaritan Window’ in
The Stained Glass Windows of Cromwell College Chapel
. Accessed at
www.
cromwell.uq.edu.au/_.../Grith_Memorial_Chapel_Windows
. Accessed 10/3/2015. [The Good Samaritan Window was
the rst to be installed in the Chapel at Cromwell College, University of Queensland at St Lucia, Brisbane. The window
was designed by Mr Frank Wesley and crafted and installed by Mr Tony Vaughan.]
27.
Watson, B. The Stained Glass Windows in Northbridge Uniting Church. Accessed at
www.northbridgecastlecraguca.
org.au
. Accessed 10/3/2015.
28.
Anon [MA]. ‘Bosch, GH (1861–1934), merchant and philanthropist’ in
Australian Dictionary of Biography
. 7, 1891–
1939. General editors: B Nairn and G Searle. Melbourne, Melbourne University Press, 1979: 352.
29.
Pullen Rev. HW. ‘Alabasters’ in
Handbook of Ancient Roman Marbles
. London, John Murray, 1894, 25.
30.
Gibbs D.
Op. cit.
See Ref 7, 28, Plate 5.
Pearn
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44
31.
McGrew RE. ‘Origins of the Modern Hospital to 1850’ in
Encyclopaedia of Medical History
. London, The Macmillan
Press Ltd., 1985, 139.
32.
Pers. comm. August 2006, Mrs Jeanne Jame, member of the Parochial Church Council, All Saints’ Church,
Thurlestone, Devon.
33.
Pearn JH. ‘Dr James George Beaney (1828–1891). A Pioneer Australian Paediatrician and Paediatric Surgeon’ in
J
Paediatr Child Health
2004, 40, 702–6.
34.
Melbourne Hospital Archives. Beaney Windows. Accessed at
http://www.mh.org.au/royal_melbourne_hospital/the
beaney leagacy/w1/11037871
. Accessed 12/3/2015.
35.
The South Australian Register
, 1877. Quote from John Ruskin. Monday 11 June, 5.
36.
Pearn JH. ‘Medical Philately of Australia’ in
Med J Aust
1969, i, 1318–24.
37.
Pearn JH and Gardner-Medwin D. ‘An Anzac’s Childhood. John Simpson Kirkpatrick (1892–1915)’ in
Med J Aust
2003, 21, 400–401
38.
Pearn JH and Gardner-Medwin D. ‘A Short Life Rich in Images. New Records of the Life of John Kirkpatrick (1892–
1915) ‘Simpson’ of the Australian Army Medical Corps’ in
Aust Mil Med
2003, 12, 90–98.
39.
Welch JW. ‘The Good Samaritan. A Type and Shadow of the Plan of Salvation’ in
BYU Studies
. 1999, 38, 51–115. [p.53].
40.
Pearn JH and Franklin RC. ‘The Impulse to Rescue’. Rescue Altruism and the Challenge of Saving the Rescuer in
J
Aquatic Res Educ
2012, 6, 325–5.
41.
Wilson DS.
Does Altruism Exist? Culture, Gens, and the Welfare of Others
. Maryland, Yale University Press, 2015.
Pearn
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Sir Hiram Maxim and

the ‘Pipe of Peace’
Brian Fotheringham KStJ
In the little museum in Adelaide, South Australia, that is
dedicated to collecting, preserving and displaying items relating
to St John Ambulance, there is a curious inclusion known as the
‘Pipe of Peace’. Perhaps it should not be there as its use, as far as
I know, was never condoned by St John. It does, however, serve as
an interesting conversation piece with some likenesses and links
to the history of St John, and possibly also a lesson or even a
warning for St John. It is also a story that crosses international
boundaries, appropriate for a journal such as this.
The ‘Pipe of Peace’, the inhaler
invented by Sir Hiram Maxim.
Sir Hiram Stevens Maxim
The ‘Pipe of Peace’ was invented by Sir Hiram Stevens
Maxim (1840–1916). Hiram was born in Sangerville,
Maine, USA, on 5 February 1840. Curiously,
Sangerville is directly west of another place in Maine
called St John. Hiram was the son of a farmer and
when aged 14 was apprenticed to a carriage maker. His
hobby was inventing things and this later became his
life’s work. He invented lots of things. He was 26 years
old when he took out his rst patent—for a hair curling
iron. In the next half century he took out 271 American
and British patents. No easy feat! They included gas
generators, carburettors, steam traps, meters, pumps,
chandeliers, heaters, batteries, regulators, dynamos,
solvent recovery processes, riveting devices and stone
cutting implements. And that is just a few of the
American patents.
The British ones covered processes for the separation of metals, pipe and tube manufacture,
the production of vacuums, devices to measure wind velocity and others to stop ships
from rolling, wheels for railway carriages, shafts for screw propellers, shoe heel protectors,
pneumatic tyres, coee substitutes and re extinguishers.
Sir Hiram Maxim (1840-1916) wears his
accumulation of awards.

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46
His electrical pressure regulator was displayed at the Paris Exhibition of 1881 and earned for
him the decoration of Legion of Honour. Hiram went to Paris to collect this honour, but this
may not have been his real reason for leaving America. In 1876 he had married Jane Budden
in Boston. They had three children. In 1878 he married Helen Leighton in New York. In 1880
he married Sarah Haynes, also in New York. Jane divorced him
after
he had married Helen.
Sarah divorced him as she, for a time, was just one of
three
current wives. Hiram never went
back to America.
Hiram’s inventions were not always successful. In England he designed and built a huge
two-propeller steam-driven aeroplane. It was tested on rails with an extra restraining rail
preventing the plane from lifting o more than a few inches. The restraining rail broke. Hiram
did not venture further in the eld of aviation.
Hiram Maxim at the controls of a famous but impractical
invention—his steam-powered, rail-mounted biplane made of
tubular steel and canvas biplane in 1894. It ‘ew’ for about 200
metres during a trial in 1895 but then broke an axle and was so
seriously damaged that Maxim abandoned the project.
A
very
famous invention
One Maxim invention in particular was a huge success. It was developed in 1884 by Hiram
who by this time was living in London. Although he was born in America, Hiram later became
a British citizen. The year 1884 was an interesting time for St John. The St John Ambulance
Association in England was just seven years old, the St John Ophthalmic Hospital was just
two years old and the St John Ambulance Brigade was still three years away from being
formed. Hiram’s 1884 invention was so noisy that he issued warning notices to people in the
area when he tested it. That area was Clerkenwell.
The site of the tests, on the corner of Hatten Garden and Clerkenwell Road, is marked now
by one of those ubiquitous British blue plaques. The plaque is no more than 500 metres from
St John’s Gate purchased for St John by Sir Edmund Lechmere in 1873. Hiram’s noisy tests
Fotheringham
Sir Hiram Maxim

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47
may well have been heard at the Gate. The warnings were not without reason; Sir Hiram
himself became deaf from the noise he created. The invention was described as the rst
(satisfactory) fully automatic machine gun. The Maxim gun consisted of a single barrel and
made use of the recoil to eject spent cartridges and to reload the ring chamber. It could
re about 1000 rounds a minute, equivalent to about 30 rounds of the ries of the day. The
Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, was greatly impressed by the gun and it was adopted
by the British Army in 1889 and by the Royal Navy in 1892.
In the Matabele War of 1893, fty British infantrymen with four Maxim guns defended
themselves against 5000 warriors and killed 3000 of them. As Hiliare Belloc (1870–1953),
famously the author of
Cautionary Tales for Children
, wrote:
Whatever happens, we have got
the Maxim gun, and they have not.
However it was not long hence that the armies of USA, Russia, Germany, the Ottoman
Empire, Italy, Serbia and Finland soon all acquired the Maxim gun.
Hiram was knighted in 1901 by King Edward VII who by then was the Sovereign Head of the
Order of St John, having previously been the Grand Prior.
e development of the ‘Pipe of Peace’
When Sir Hiram, at the age of 60, began suering severe attacks of bronchitis he consulted his
family physician and several other doctors. He tried hot springs in France and the treatment
system at Vos’s Inhalatorium in Nice. That Inhalatorium was the only treatment that gave
him signicant relief.
Sir Hiram bought some glass tubing and made some simple inhalers for himself. He found
them more eective than those of Mr Vos. He gave them to a few people who gave glowing
reports of their usefulness. He then made 200 and gave them away. Thereafter sale of the
inhalers was placed in the hands of John Morgan Richards and Sons Ltd, of 46 Holborn
Viaduct, London. Hundreds of thousands were sold through this one agency.
Actually, two slightly dierent inhalers were marketed for Sir Hiram Maxim by John Morgan
Richards and Sons. They were the Maxim Inhaler and the Pipe of Peace. The Inhaler was
meant as a pocket appliance to be brought into play at the rst sign of bronchial or similar
trouble. It was comprised of a glass tube containing gauze material already soaked in menthol.
Sir Hiram Maxim demonstrates his
famous machine gun.
Fotheringham
Sir Hiram Maxim

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48
By breathing through the tube, air could be drawn through the menthol-soaked gauze and
delivered to the back of the patient’s throat. Indents were provided in the tubing into which
the patient’s teeth could sink so that the device extended for 5.5 cms into the mouth. If the
dose of menthol seemed too great, Sir Hiram instructed patients not to close their lips tightly
around the tubing, but to allow air in alongside the tubing as well as through it.
The larger inhaler was known as the Pipe of Peace. The principle of direct inhalation was
the same as with the Maxim Inhaler, but a compound essence of pine was used instead of
menthol. The essence of pine was extracted from pine needles. You will recall that Hiram
was born in Maine, USA. Pine trees grew in abundance in Maine and are featured on Maine’s
Coat of Arms. The pine essence is so highly volatile that the warmth of hands holding the
bowl of the Pipe of Peace provided sucient heat to give healing fumes in the inhalation.
Pine needles were said to contain a principle fatal to germs ‘which although unidentied are
known to be the direct cause of bronchitis and bronchial irritation’.
Maxim’s ‘Pipe of Peace’ or bronchial
inhaler, with its glass tubing and menthol-
soaked gauze.
Inhaling pine essence often caused coughing. To avoid this complication Sir Hiram devised a
secret formula by adding small quantities of the essences of Wintergreen and Sweet Birch to
the pine essence. This combined product was marketed under the name of ‘Dirigo’, from the
Latin which means ‘I guide’ or ‘I direct’. Sir Hiram’s Pipe of Peace and the Maxim Inhaler were
designed to guide or direct the curative vapours straight to the throat. It is no coincidence
that the term ‘Dirigo’ is the one word motto on the Coat of Arms of the State of Maine.
The Maxim Inhaler and the Pipe of Peace were described as being of great service to
clergymen, vocalists, actors and public speakers. The package deal of the Pipe of Peace and
the Maxim Inhaler together with bottles of Dirigo and menthol crystals could be obtained for
15 shillings and six pence and only from John Morgan Richards and Sons. It came in a plain
strong cardboard box and postage was included in the price
.
Instructive parallels
There is a certain parallel here between Sir Hiram and the Order of St John. Both had a
military bent. The Hospitallers as far back as the twelfth century, when Raymond Du Puy
became Master of the Order, were a well-equipped and feared ghting force. Hiram’s
Machine Gun, likewise was a signicantly feared military piece of equipment—it killed far
more of the enemy than all the Hospitallers ever did.
Fotheringham
Sir Hiram Maxim

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49
The parallels go further than that, however. Both Hiram and St John volunteers worked in
London, and more precisely, in Clerkenwell. And then both Sir Hiram and the Order turned
to peaceful pursuits. Sir Hiram invented his ‘Pipe of Peace’ and St John dedicated itself to
the relief of suering. The warning for St John is that Sir Hiram is remembered more for his
machine gun than for his inhalers. We should take note!
References
Ainsworth A, 2010. Clerkenwell: Change and Renewal. Oblique Image, UK.
Frater A, 2008.
The Balloon Factory: The Story of the Men Who Built Britain’s First Flying Machines
. Picador, UK.
Maxim HS, 1915.
My Life
. Methuen and Company Ltd., London.
Mottelay PF, 1920.
The Life and Work of Sir Hiram Maxim
. Bodley Head, New York.
‘Sir Hiram Maxim’s Latest Inventions’, the promotional pamphlet included with the inhaler and the ‘Pipe of Peace’, 1910.
Fotheringham
Sir Hiram Maxim

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50
Dr Samuel omas Knaggs.
Australia’s other St John

founding father
Timothy M Wieland OStJ
Dr Samuel Thomas Knaggs was the Irish-born and trained medical
practitioner who taught Australia’s earliest ocially approved
public St John Ambulance rst aid course in 1881. The group
he taught, railway workers at the Eveleigh Railway Workshops
in Redfern, Sydney, was, in current St John terminology, a
‘detached class’ — a ‘one-o’ taught and examined without being
‘attached to’ (i.e. provided by) a permanent local St John ‘centre’
as part of its public training eort.
At much the same time that Knaggs was teaching the Eveleigh
railwaymen rst aid, at least one other course based on the

St John syllabus was taught in Melbourne. This, however, was not
a public class but was restricted to members of a militia medical
unit.
Nine years passed until a Sydney St John centre was established.
Meanwhile permanent St John centres had been established in
Melbourne and Adelaide as well as in Launceston (which did not
survive). Although Knaggs was one among the group who brought
the Sydney centre into being, his earlier initiative in organising
and teaching Australia’s rst St John course is not given sucient
credit in St John histories. This article aims to redress the balance
by demonstrating what a remarkable innovator Knaggs was.

It also argues that Knaggs should be considered as one of Australia’s

St John ‘founding fathers and mothers’.
Knaggs was born in either July or August 1842 in Thurles, County Tipperary in the south of
the present-day Republic of Ireland (the records dier on his birth date). His parents were
Robert Corbert Knaggs and his wife Phoebe (née Maiben).
Little is known of the details of Knaggs’s early life and childhood. In 1848, when he was
about six years old, the family migrated to Australia. They arrived in Sydney but later moved
to Newcastle, where he had his schooling. In 1855 his father was registered as a medical
practitioner, but seems to have worked in Newcastle as a pharmacist (or ‘chemist and
druggist’ as the records indicate).
Medical training
After completing his schooling in Newcastle, when he was about 19, Knaggs returned to
Ireland to study medicine in Dublin. At rst he was a pupil and assistant to a Dr Robert C
Knapps, under whom he studied for ve years, 1861–1866. In 1868, age 26, he entered
the School of Physic at the Ledwich School of Medicine, Dublin, where he was a student
Dr ST Knaggs (1842–1921)
This photograph accompanyed his
obituary in the
Medical Journal of
Australia
.

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51
for four years, 1868–1871. At that stage in the evolution of medical training, many doctors
trained in medical schools which, like Ledwich, were outside the university system. Following
the completion of his studies at Ledwich, Knaggs enrolled in the University of Aberdeen in
Scotland, from which he graduated with honours in Medicine and Surgery (MB, ChM, 1872).
Knaggs’s training was thorough. As well as the practical experience he had gained under
Dr Knapps, his formal studies at medical school and university had included these subjects:
Chemistry, Botany, Materia Medica, Anatomy, Practical Anatomy, Comparative Anatomy,
Surgery, Clinical Surgery, Practical Chemistry, Clinical Medicine, Physiology, Practice of
Medicine, Midwifery, Medical Jurisprudence, Zoology and Ophthalmology. By the time of
his graduation at Aberdeen at age 30, he had been a student of the King and Queen’s College
of Physicians of Ireland (the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland after 1890) and had
passed the examination for the Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons (FRCS,1871).
After his return to Australia, Knaggs was awarded the degree of Doctor of Medicine (MD,
1873) of the University of Aberdeen. In the meantime, he had worked as a resident medical
ocer at the Adelaide Hospital in Dublin and had visited both Paris and Vienna, where he had
studied in some famous clinics.
The Adelaide Hospital, Dublin. Established in 1839 as a hospital
for Protestants, this was where Knaggs spent a period as a
resident medical ocer.
Interestingly, while Knaggs was studying medicine in Ireland, his father was also doing so.
Knaggs Snr qualied as both a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland and a
Licentiate of the Society of Apothecaries of Dublin. Presumably this was in order to give him
formal qualications to make and dispense medicines in his Newcastle practice.
Wieland
Dr Samuel Thomas Knaggs

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52
Medical practice in Newcastle
Following his ten years of overseas studies and experience, Knaggs returned to Newcastle
about the end of 1871. On 8 January 1872 he was registered as a medical practitioner in New
South Wales. He then entered general practice in Newcastle and worked there as a GP for
the next nine years, until the end of 1880. In that time he gained a reputation for being ‘one
of the most able and reliable medical practitioners in New South Wales outside the capital
city’ and one whose ‘popularity among his patients was immense’.
In 1874 Knaggs married at the age of 32. His bride was Helena Charlotte Read, who bore him
seven daughters. She predeceased him, dying in the family home at 5 Lyons Terrace, Hyde
Park, Sydney, on 2 November 1898. He married a second time the next year, at age 57, to
Amy Elfreda Bolekman (also called ‘Volckmann’).
In 1881 the University of Sydney enacted by-laws to introduce
ad eundem gradum
(Latin: ‘at
the same level’) degrees. Such degrees are ‘courtesy’ qualications granted by a university
to recognise that training qualications received elsewhere are of comparable status to that
of the university’s own degrees. Many New South Wales medical practitioners with English,
Irish, German and Scottish medical degrees took advantage of the university’s by-laws to seek
and obtain Sydney degrees of equivalent standing to their overseas qualications. Knaggs was
one of twenty medical practitioners who obtained
ad eundem gradum
doctorates in medicine
(MD) between 1881 and 1900.
The Newcastle Hospital as it was when Dr Knaggs was a salaried
medical ocer there.
In the meantime, Knaggs had expanded his range of interests. In 1874 he was appointed as a
government medical ocer and in 1875 he became a salaried medical ocer at the Newcastle
Hospital. Interested in public health and workplace safety, he regularly contributed articles
on these subjects to two local newspapers, the
Newcastle Chronicle
and the
Newcastle Morning
Herald and Miner’s Advocate
. In 1875 he unsuccessfully attempted to establish a public health
advocacy organisation similar to Melbourne’s Australian Health Society; and that year he
became the editor of the
New South Wales Medical Gazette
. His interest in medical journalism
also found expression in a short-lived quarterly journal,
The Australian Practitioner: a quarterly
Wieland
Dr Samuel Thomas Knaggs

One St John

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53
journal of medical, surgical and sanitary science for the Australian colonies
, which he publishing
during 1877–1978. In 1878 he was appointed as a Fellow of the Royal Society of New South
Wales. He later chaired its medical section in 1888–1889.
e move to Sydney and an expanding range of interests
Knaggs moved to Sydney and began practising there about 1883 after returning from a visit
to Europe. By now he was about 41. He resumed private practice, but his public interests
multiplied appreciably. He became an honorary surgeon at St Vincent’s Hospital, a lecturer
in clinical surgery at the University of Sydney and an honorary surgeon at the Prince Alfred
Hospital. He held the latter two positions for the next ten years, until 1893. In 1885 he
became a member of the New South Wales Board of Health. He served as an examiner in
anatomy and physiology for the Board of Technical Education 1887–1892.
A constant advocate for the establishment of a ministry of public health, Knaggs also became
involved in medical politics. He was active in the New South Wales branch of the British
Medical Association and served a term as its president 1887–1888. In 1892 he was joint
honorary secretary of the Intercolonial Medical Congress of Australasia, which was held in
Sydney.
Other involvements were as a medical ocer for the Department of Public Instruction and
as a member the Railways Medical Board. Re-entering medical journalism, he edited the
Australasian Medical Gazette
, 1895–1901.
In the colonial armed services, he had become a surgeon in the New South Wales Naval
Brigade in 1872. Promoted within this service, by the time the brigade was transferred to the
new Australian Navy at Federation in 1901, he was the Fleet Surgeon.
Retirement and last years
By the time of Federation, Knaggs was 58. That
year, 1901, he visited Japan, a nation that remained a
mystery for most Australians. He spent several years
there. After gaining registration, he practised medicine
in Kobe. After returning to Sydney, he gradually
withdrew from medical practice and public aairs.
In retirement, Knaggs continued contributing articles
to medical journals. At the age of 75 in 1917 he emerged
from retirement to take a short-term appointment
as a medical ocer at the Collarenebri Hospital in
northern New South Wales, where he helped combat
an outbreak of meningitis which had killed four people
in the district. He probably did so because of a shortage
of doctors caused by World War I, during which many
younger, able-bodied medical practitioners were
serving overseas with the Army Medical Corps.
Dr Knaggs in Kobe, Japan,

September 1904.
Wieland
Dr Samuel Thomas Knaggs

One St John

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54
Knaggs died in Paddington, Sydney, on 6 April 1921
and was buried in the Anglican section of Waverley
cemetery. He was survived by his second wife and ve
of his seven daughters by his rst wife, Helena.
Knaggs’s obituary in the
Australian Medical Journal
was
magnanimous. He was, the article said, ‘generous to a
fault, a wise counsellor, a staunch friend, honourable,
upright’. No one, it went on to say, ‘showed more
kindliness and help to his juniors than Dr Knaggs’;
and, nally, his family’s grief would be ‘shared by a
very large section of the medical profession in the
Commonwealth’.
Dr Knaggs’s now-neglected grave and
toppled tombstone in the Waverley
Cemetery, Sydney.
Knaggs’s crusade against medical quackery,
pseudo-science and spiritualism
In his own lifetime, Knaggs was probably better
known for his crusading against medical quackery,
pseudo medical science, clairvoyance and spiritualism,
all of which he regarded as the unconscionable,
fraudulent exploitation of human ignorance and
gullibility. He became a prolic producer of tracts and
pamphlets exposing the dishonesty and unscientic
misinformation purveyed by practitioners in these
areas. Objects of his particular ire were phrenologists,
spiritualist mediums, clairvoyants and medical
charlatans.
Knaggs also became a skilled conjurer. He performed
conjuring tricks in public to raise money for charity. He
used these performances to demonstrate the trickery
behind so-called ‘spiritual feats’ such as levitation. To
expose such trickery further, in 1895 he published a
novel under the
nom de plume
Maiben Brook (Maiben
was his mother’s maiden name). It had the title
Dr
de Lion, Clairvoyant: Confessions of a Vagabond Life in
Australia, as Narrated by Maiben Brook
.
A particular Knaggs bête noir: the pseudoscience of phrenology,
which asserted that intelligence, personality and character could
be assessed by ‘reading’ head shape and facial features.
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Knaggs published at least four other books under his own name. Their titles suggest his
range of interests:
Recreations of an Australian surgeon
(1888);
Human fads, foibles, fallacies,
fallibilities
(1898);
Common complaints and simple remedies with plain instructions for the use of
the universal household medicine cabinet
(1906); and
Vaccination
(1913).
Another related cause for which Knaggs campaigned was the revision of legislation on the
registration of deaths to ensure that only duly qualied medical practitioners could certify the
cause of death. This was ‘to prevent unqualied persons from amateur dabbling in medicine
and surgery’.
Knaggs was also an accomplished and probably self-taught artist. At least one of his paintings
has survived and is now held in the collection of the Newcastle Region Library. Clearly
inuenced by the style of the great nineteenth century English painter of ships and seascapes,
JMW Turner, it depicts the wreck of the ship
Lismore
near Newcastle in 1866 and the rescue
of the crew.
Knaggs’s painting of the wreck of the ship
Lismore
near
Newcastle and the rescue of its crew on 13 July 1866.

Knaggs could not have witnessed this event because he

was studying medicine in Dublin at the time.
Knaggs and St John Ambulance
We now come to Knaggs’s involvement in St John Ambulance. Before considering this phase
of his very diverse 45-year career in medicine and public health, however, let us place in
historical context his rst aid class at the Eveleigh Railway Workshops in 1881.
In 1881 Queen Victoria had been the monarch for 47 years; her grandson George (later
King George V) toured Australia; and the ‘Father of Federation’, Henry Parkes, called for
an intercolonial council to examine the issue of a Federal Constitution for an independent
Federal Parliament. In sport, ‘Zulu’, ridden by J Gough won that year’s Melbourne Cup, the
twentieth Cup race since the rst in 1861; and the rst women’s lawn bowls match in Australia
was held in Stawell, Victoria. In education, the University of Sydney admitted its rst female
students; and in Melbourne the working Mens’ College (later the Royal Melbourne Institute
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of Technology) was founded. In industry and technology, the rst ‘Otis’-style passenger
lifts were installed in Sydney; drilling for oil began at Salt Creek, South Australia; gold was
discovered in the Kimberley district in Western Australia; and the Sydney–Albury railway
line in New South Wales, the Maryborough–Gympie line in Queensland and the Fremantle–
Perth–Guildford line in Western Australia were all completed.
How Knaggs came to be conducting an ocially sanctioned St John Ambulance rst aid class
in Redfern in 1881 is uncertain. There is some evidence, however, that he had recently returned
from London armed with St John rst aid teaching materials. What possibly happened was
that while in London he heard about the success of the St John Ambulance Association rst
aid course in equipping lay people with rst aid skills, made inquiries about the course at
the Association’s headquarters in St John’s Gate, obtained permission to conduct a class in
Australia, and then returned home with the requisite materials — copies of the ‘Little Black
Book’ manual of instruction (
First Aid to the Injured
, which had been published for the rst
time in 1879) plus a supply of triangular and roller bandages. Given Knaggs’s demonstrated
interest in promoting public health and hygiene, this would seem to be the most likely scenario.
As mentioned, the course that Knaggs organised and taught was at the Eveleigh Railway
Workshops in Redfern. But why Redfern and the Railway Workshops? The answer almost
suggests itself.
The Eveleigh Workshops, which opened in 1880, the year before Dr Knaggs’s rst aid course,
employed hundreds of blue collar workers. They were engaged in hazardous trades in which
the risk of injury was high. First aid was useful knowledge that workers were keen to acquire
for their own and their workmates’ mutual protection. The workshop sta worked in a discrete
location in which a class could be readily organised. And the railway authorities were keen to
promote occupational health and safety — as seen by the establishment of the Railways
Medical Board, of which Knaggs was a member, and the Railway Ambulance Corps, a railways
rst aid service.
The Eveleigh Railway Workshops,
Redfern, Sydney, as they were in 1881
when Dr Knaggs taught a rst aid class
there.
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As seen, the rst aid class Knaggs organised was a ‘detached class’. This means it was a ‘one-o’
class conducted according to the St John Ambulance Association’s syllabus and examination
procedure but not in or by an established Association Centre. Many such classes were run
annually, not only in the UK and the British Empire but also in various foreign nations in
which someone had taken the trouble to organise classes.
Unfortunately, the names of the railwaymen who joined the Eveleigh Workshops class are
unknown; and as far as known none of the rst aid certicates awarded to those successfully
completing the course have survived. We do, however, know that Knaggs retained his interest
in the St John course because he subsequently became involved in the Newcastle Centre of
the St John Ambulance Association.
Railway workers in the USA demonstrate
rst aid techniques as a promotion for
the Johnson & Johnson Company’s rst
aid kits.
Dr Knaggs’s St John Ambulance class in
the Eveleigh Railway Workshops would
have learnt similar procedures to those
being demonstrated here.
Exactly when the Newcastle St John Centre was established is uncertain, but it was certainly
in business, organising public classes of instruction and issuing rst aid certicates by March
1884, nine months after the foundation of the Melbourne Centre, Australia’s rst. We know
this because of the oldest known surviving Australian St John rst aid certicate. It was
issued by the Newcastle Centre on 24 March 1884 to one D Melville, who had successfully
completed a course in which Knaggs had been the ‘Surgeon Instructor’. The Melville
certicate is proof-positive that there was a Newcastle St John Ambulance Association
Centre at least six years before the New South Wales Centre formed in Sydney in 1890.
Though eventually superseded by the New South Wales Centre, the Newcastle Centre was
the second Association Centre in Australia, beating into third place the Adelaide Centre,
which did not form until the end of 1884.
The earliest known surviving Australian St John Ambulance rst aid certicate. It was awarded
on 20 March 1884 to D Melville, a member of a class organised by the Newcastle Centre
of the St John Ambulance Association and instructed by Dr ST Knaggs. Knaggs’s signature
appears at the bottom right of the certicate.
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Lady Brassey and the establishment of the New South Wales

St John Ambulance Centre
After moving to Sydney, Knaggs became one of the key gures instrumental in founding the
New South Wales Centre in 1890. The events leading up to its establishment were complex.
The catalyst for the establishment was Annie, Lady Brassey (1839–1887), the rst wife of
the rst Lord Brassey (1836–1918), a wealthy British parliamentarian (and later Governor of
Victoria). Lord Brassey owned a large, ocean-going yacht,
Sunbeam
, in which the Brasseys
toured the world. Lady Brassey, a fervent ‘evangelist’ for St John rst aid training, preached
the rst aid ‘gospel’ wherever they travelled. In 1887
Sunbeam
toured Australia. Despite being
increasingly ill, Lady Brassey conducted public meetings to promote rst aid training in many
of the cities and towns they visited. She actually died, probably of the combined eects of
malaria and pneumonia, and was buried at sea soon after leaving Darwin on the voyage home.
In Sydney in July 1887 Lady Brassey had convened two public meetings, one in Government
House and the other in the Town Hall, which had voted to establish a St John Centre in
Sydney. After her departure, little happened to implement this resolution. It was Knaggs,
who had met Lady Brassey and attended her Sydney meetings, who eventually took the
action that led to the Centre’s coming into being.
Some two years after the Brassey visit, Knaggs called a meeting in the Randwick Town Hall
to form a local Randwick branch of the St John Ambulance Association. This meeting, in
November 1889, agreed with his idea. Those attending subscribed £10 to enable the branch
to be registered at St John’s Gate. The meeting also agreed to form a local rst aid class
for women, which was duly held and for which Knaggs was the examiner. Twenty women
joined the class; all passed the exam; and their certicates were presented to them by the
The earliest known surviving Australian

St John Ambulance rst aid certicate.
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Annie (née Allnutt) Lady Brassey
(1839–1887), fervent ‘evangelist’ for the
St John Ambulance rst aid course, who
toured Australia for four months in 1887
promoting rst aid traianing.
Governor’s wife, Lady Carrington, at a ceremony in Government House in July 1890. By
that time, the long–awaited New South Wales Centre had been founded, probably about
April 1890. Knaggs, who became a member of its management committee, had continued
advocating its formation.
Strangely, considering that Knaggs had done more than anyone else over a nine–year period
during the 1880s to ensure that St John Ambulance achieved permanency in New South
Wales, he received no honours or awards from the Order of St John. Life membership of
the New South Wales Centre? Admittance into the Order as an ‘Honorary Associate’ or
Serving Brother? An illuminated address thanking him for introducing rst aid training into
Australia? No such distinctions ever came his way. Why they didn’t is impossible now to
say, although we might agree that he deserved them. Indeed, if our Priory ever introduced
posthumous awards, Dr Knaggs would be rst in line for a KStJ.
Samuel Thomas Knaggs MB ChM MD FRCS was a general practitioner and specialist surgeon
who had undertaken an extended period of the most rigorous practical and theoretical medical
education and training available in his day and age. In doing so, he attained the highest levels
of academic and professional achievement.
Applying his knowledge and skills in practice after his return to New South Wales from studies
abroad, Dr Knaggs had a rich and varied professional career in both Australia and Japan. If
he had ever produced a
curriculum vitae
, this would have been a most impressive document.
It would have included his long experience as a general practitioner, surgeon, university
lecturer and senior public sector medical ocer in hospitals, public utilities and the defence
force. It would also have included his contributions to medical journalism, medical profession
administration, the authorship and dissemination of literature promoting public health and
his zealous campaign to rid medicine of quackery.
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Finally, from the St John Ambulance perspective, his initiatives in introducing rst aid training
to Australia and in establishing a permanent St John presence in New South Wales place
him among our most respected ‘founding fathers and mothers’. Each of the six Australian
colonies had such people of vision who toiled to ensure that St John Ambulance ‘seedlings’
were planted and ourishing in the colonial ‘soil’ by the time of Federation in 1901. ST Knaggs
was at the very forefront of this select company.
I must therefore hope that the foregoing article serves to remind the present generations of

St Johnnies what their organisation owes to Dr Knaggs and his fellow St John pioneers in
Australia.
HMS
Wolverine
, a ship gifted to the
Colony of New South Wales by the
Royal Navy in 1881. In Australia the
vessel was known as HMCS
Wolverine
.
In Sydney, the
Wolverine
usually berthed
at Fort Macquarie, the later site of the
Sydney Opera House. Naval Surgeon
ST Knaggs served aboard the
Wolverine
,
which carried 14 cannons and had a crew
of 208.
During their visit to Sydney in 1887, Lord
and Lady Brassey inspected the
Wolverine

in company with the Governor and his
wife, Lord and Lady Carrington.
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e Red Cross and the

St John Ambulance link
Allan Mawdsley
KStJ
In 1859, Henri Dunant, a Swiss businessman with
agricultural trading enterprises in French-occupied
territories, travelled to Solferino in present-day
northern Italy between Milan and Verona to meet
with Emperor Napoleon III to discuss his business.
He arrived on St John’s day, 24 June, 151 years ago
and inadvertently witnessed a monstrous battle. The
Austrian Army of Emperor Franz Joseph I, which had
occupied much of northern Italy, fought with the
combined armies of Napoleon III and the Sardinian
Army of King Victor Emmanuel II in what was later
called the Second Italian War of Independence.
Each side had about 200,000 troops and at the end of
the day there were about 40,000 dead and wounded
soldiers on the battleeld with little or no help for
their injuries. Dunant was appalled at the carnage. On
his return home he published a book in 1862 called

Memories of Solferino
. He proposed a permanent relief
agency for humanitarian aid in times of war, and a
government treaty recognising the neutrality of the
agency and allowing it to provide aid in a war zone. The former proposal led to the establishment
of Red Cross, and with the help of friends, the so-called ‘Committee of Five’, he arranged
an international conference in 1864 which resulted in the rst Geneva Convention. This was
signed initially by twelve nations but in the years since then it has gradually been extended by
further Geneva Conventions and become rmly established in International Law.
These events in Europe were contemporaneous with the attempts to revive the Order of

St John in England. ‘The Sovereign and Illustrious Order of St John of Jerusalem: Anglia’
was founded in England in 1831 as an attempt to revive the English Langue of the Order of

St John which had been suppressed by King Henry VIII in the dissolution of the monasteries.
In the latter part of the nineteenth century, when Sir William Drogo Montagu, Seventh Duke
of Manchester became Grand Prior, the organisation rediscovered its raison d’etre.
The Duke of Manchester and his trio of associates: Sir Edmund Lechmere, Sir John Furley
and Major Francis Duncan, founded the St John Ambulance Association in 1877, which set
up ambulance transport services and began teaching rst aid to the public. These activities,
together with the founding of the St John Ophthalmic Hospital in Jerusalem and the
formation of St John Ambulance Brigade for providing rst aid at public events, was led by

Sir Edmund Lechmere, an inuential and wealthy landowner, who became Secretary General
and Treasurer. He was an active promoter of the development of ambulance transport services.
Jean Henri Dunant (1828–1910), founder
of the Red Cross organisation.

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The cofounders of St John Ambulance (l–r) the 7th Duke of Manchester,
Sir Edmund Lechmere, Major Francis Duncan and Sir John Furley.
Major Francis Duncan had been a professional soldier in the Royal Artillery deployed
in Nova Scotia during the American Civil War and after his return to Britain became the
Superintendent of the Royal Artillery Regimental records. After his release from the army
he was made Director of the newly-formed Ambulance Department.
Sir John Furley was a voluntary militiaman, Captain in the 29th Ashford Battalion in Kent but
not allowed on overseas service for health reasons. However, he had a life-long humanitarian
involvement in military medical matters and designed a stretcher and the wheeled version
known as the Ashford litter. He attended Geneva conferences as a delegate of the Order
of St John. Although the British Government ratied the Geneva Convention it declined
to create a British Red Cross Society at that time, so Furley together with Lechmere and
the Duke of Manchester formed the British National Society for Sick and Wounded, which
had the Prince of Wales as its rst President. They continued to lobby the government
until eventually ocial recognition enabled the National Society for Sick and Wounded to
transform into the British Red Cross Society in 1905.
Britain had recently emerged from the Boer War. During that war volunteers from the

St John Ambulance Brigade, which had only been formed twenty years earlier provided
almost a quarter of the army medical services. The campaign proved to be hugely more
dicult than the British military services had been prepared for. The lesson was not lost on
the military planners and as the situation in the Balkans deteriorated, the likelihood of a major
war became more imminent. The British War Oce called on the newly-formed British Red
Cross Society to organise volunteer helpers for the medical services. They quickly added

St John volunteers as helpers of equal standing, and administered the resultant organisation
of Voluntary Aid Detachments through a Joint Central Council of delegates from Red Cross,
St John and the Defence Forces.
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St John Ambulance has had a close association with Red Cross from its earliest days in
Britain and also in Australia. St John in Australia closely followed the developments in Britain.
Nine days after the outbreak of World War I, the Australian Red Cross was established as a
Branch of the British Red Cross Society following a meeting called at Government House in
Melbourne by Lady Helen Munro-Ferguson, wife of the Governor-General.
Lady Helen Munro Ferguson, daughter of the viceroy,
the Marquess of Duerin and Ava, was president and
founder of the Australian Branch of the British Red
Cross Society. The wife of Sir Ronald Munro Ferguson
(1860–1934), Governor-General of Australia 1914–
1920, she established the Australian Branch of the
British Red Cross Society on 13 August 1914. During
World War I the ballroom of Melbourne’s Government
House was taken over by Lady Munro Ferguson’s
work for the Society. In 1918 she was appointed Dame
Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE)
for her work during World War I.
Dr Arthur Sherwin, later to become Commissioner of
St John Ambulance Brigade in Victoria, represented
St John at that meeting. Dr Sherwin had been a
volunteer with British Red Cross medical eld units in
the Balkan wars in 1912. Turkey went to war against
Servia, Bulgaria, Greece and Montenegro. Dr Sherwin
was attached to the Montenegrin unit, whose activities
were directed around Lake Sentani and Northern
Albania. For this he was awarded the Red Cross
volunteer medal. Sherwin was a strong supporter of
Red Cross and after serving in the First World War he
became comptroller of Voluntary Aid Detachments in
Victoria. He joined the Victorian Division of the Red
Cross Society in 1916. From 1930 he was Member of
Divisional Council and was Chair of several committees
including Handicraft since its inception in 1943 until
his retirement in 1950. He was one of the medical
professionals who helped set up the Red Cross Blood
Transfusion Service in 1929, and planning of Red Cross
Emergency Service Companies 1938–1939. For this
contribution he was made an Honorary Life Member
in 1951. Dr Sherwin’s contribution began a long series
of overlapping involvements of senior oce-bearers
between Red Cross and St John which reached its peak
with Sir John Newman-Morris and his son, Georey.
Sir John Newman Morris was an Honorary In-patient
Surgeon at St Vincent’s Hospital. He was a member
of St John Council from 1931 to 1956, and a Knight
Dr Arthur Sherwin attended the inaugural
meeting of Australian Red Cross and
maintained life-long links with the
organisation. He served as the St John
Ambulance Commissioner in Victoria
1945–51. Earlier as Colonel JA Sherwin,
he had been Commandant of the
Heidelberg Military Hospital 1941–44.
Lady Helen Munro-Ferguson.
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Sir Georey Newman-Morris
(1909–1981) was Victorian St John
Ambulance Commissioner( 1966–69)
and then National Chief Surgeon
(1969–72). He was National Chairman
of Australian Red Cross (1959–78).
of the Order of St John. At one time he held the position of Receiver-General at Priory
Headquarters. He was on the Australian Red Cross Executive from 1937, was Victorian
Division Chair in 1938, and National Chair in 1944. He was leader of the Australian delegation
to the meetings of the world’s Red Cross Societies in Oxford in 1946 and again in Stockholm
in 1948. He was active in the development of the blood transfusion service with Australia as
the rst country to deliver such a service nationwide.
Sir Georey Newman-Morris, son of Sir John, was a long-serving member of St John,
becoming Commissioner of the Brigade in Victoria from 1966 to 1969 and Chief Surgeon
at Australian Headquarters from 1969 to 1972. He was a Knight of St John and a member of
St John Council from 1950 to 1976. He was Chair of Australian Red Cross Society National
Council for 20 years from 1958 to 1978, then Honorary Vice-President. In 1965 he was
elected a member of the Standing Commission of the International Red Cross. In 1973 he
became its Chairman, a role he held until 1978. He was Vice-Chairman of the League of
Red Cross Societies and Chair of the Finance Committee from 1969 to 1978. In 1979, the
International Red Cross awarded him its highest and seldom given honour, the Henri Dunant
Medal.
Sir John Newman-Morris (1879–1957)
was the national Receiver-General
for the Order of St John in Australia
(1941–57). He chaired Red Cross in
Victoria (1938–48) and then led the
national organisation (1944–57).
He is pictured here with his wife, Eleanor
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Soon after the establishment of Australian Red Cross in 1914 approval was given for the
establishment of Voluntary Aid Detachments (VAD). As in Great Britain, the VAD
organisation was administered by a Joint Central Council at Commonwealth level, with joint
State Councils comprising representatives of the Navy, Army and Air Force, the Red Cross
Society, St John Ambulance and other relevant organisations. The Commonwealth appointed
a Chief Controller, each State Council a State Controller, with Commandants in charge of
detachments. St John Ambulance in Victoria had a heavy involvement in VAD work during
World War I and many members continued with St John after the war.
In 1914, the Australian Red Cross was largely involved with providing relief services to
the Australian Defence Force with headquarters located in Melbourne coordinating the
international relief services. It immediately formed Divisions in each of the six States. The
Divisional Presidents, who were the wives of the State Governors, were instrumental in the
creation of the Australian Red Cross State Divisions. As these Presidents traversed the
country and launched appeals through local organisations and the press, the Divisions soon
had a vast number of rural and metropolitan branches.
Directly appealing to women, they became the great majority of members. The publicity
machine made the most of their comforting roles. Several high-ranking women were
appointed to governing committees, and Australian women took leading positions throughout
the organisation. Red Cross women volunteers, however, were in two distinct cohorts—those
who worked in the support services and those who worked in the Voluntary Aid Detachments.
Recognised by the Military, the Voluntary Aid Detachments were at their peak in World War
I and World War II, providing rst aid, nursing assistance, comforts, domestic assistance and
other supports for returned and wounded soldiers. Recruits were drawn from the local area by
invitation from a serving member. Members received instruction in rst aid and home nursing
from the St John Ambulance Association. Initially they worked without pay in hospitals and
convalescent homes alongside doctors and nurses. Those who volunteered in this way were
eligible for the St John War Service badge. After the war the voluntary service continued.
In 1927, the Australian Red Cross Society gained recognition as an independent National
Red Cross Society and ceased being a branch of the British Red Cross Society. In 1941 the
Australian Red Cross Society was incorporated by Royal Charter. In between the two World
Wars, they continued their care for ex-soldiers and their families, raised funds, and moved
into civil hospitals, homes and health associations. In 1928, they became a technical reserve
of the Army Medical Corps, administered under the Minister of Defence through a Joint
Central Council.
In Victoria at that time, Dr Arthur Sherwin was the Comptroller of VAD and District Surgeon
of the St John Ambulance Brigade (SJAB), and his Deputy was Mr Frederick Raven, a District
Ocer in the Brigade and Superintendent of the Victorian Civil Ambulance Service. In New
South Wales the Deputy Commissioner, Colonel W Vickers was the Comptroller and the
Lady Superintendent, Dr Frances McKay was on the VAD State Committee.
During World War II the VADs were again very strong. After World War II, they extended
their civilian service which included the assistance of new immigrants. Those who gave service
during World War II were eligible for the VAD Badge. In January 1948, direct control of
the Voluntary Aid Detachments was returned to the Australian Red Cross and St John
Ambulance. In most states the Voluntary Aid Detachments folded as time went on and states
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withdrew from this area. Sta worked in a range of other Australian Red Cross or St John
services. In New South Wales however, the Red Cross Voluntary Aid Detachments were
renamed and revamped as the Voluntary Aid Service Corps in 1967 and continued to serve
long after other States had ceased.
Although Australian Red Cross was involved in a range of activities during World War II,
including the establishment of agencies overseas dedicated to supplying families in Australia
with information about wounded and missing soldiers, it is probably best known for its
success in mobilising volunteers to create the much appreciated and eagerly anticipated
‘comfort’ parcels that were sent to servicemen overseas. From the date of its inception until
the armistice the ARCS dispatched 395,695 food parcels and 36,339 clothing parcels.
Thousands of women contributed their time and money to make this possible.
The Red Cross Headquarters Principal Commandant
of women volunteers during the war was Mrs Alice
Creswick. After the war she was made a Dame of the
Order of St John and served for one year on St John
Council for Victoria before retiring. The Commandant
of the Victorian Division was Mrs Lilian Scantlebury
who was made a Commander of the Order. The
investiture of these Red Cross members with St John
honours is a reection of the closeness of the two
organisations in those days. It is not so surprising when
you read the list of oce-bearers in the Red Cross
Annual Reports and see the number of high-ranking
St John members there.
Sir John Newman-Morris was national chairman.

Dr William WS Johnston was principal medical advisor.
Dr Sherwin, Sir Samuel Burston and Sir Georey
Newman-Morris were also listed. St John members
were also heavily involved in the development of the
Blood Transfusion Service.
The closeness diminished gradually over the years so
that by the time I became Chair of the Association
Centre committee St John and Red Cross were
competitors in the training marketplace. They have remained so ever since; and indeed they
now compete with various commercial enterprises as well because many of the latter have
entered the eld and rst aid training has consequently become an open market. As Centre
Chair, I was responsible for St John’s rst aid training program. I did not believe that the

St John and Red Cross certicates were equivalent. In a 1979 meeting with a senior St John man
who was then also Chief Executive Ocer of Red Cross in Victoria, I pointed out that we had
gone through an expensive process of curriculum development and instructor accreditation
to meet rigorous educational standards but Red Cross had not. I said I would be happy to
agree to equivalence if he could assure me that Red Cross would also implement a training
standards and accreditation process. He could not give me that assurance. The stand-o was
resolved by internal discussion with a senior Red Cross oce-bearer who also happened to be
a former St John Chief Commissioner. He gave an assurance that the two certicates were
Mrs Alice Creswick, Principal
Commandant of Red Cross volunteers
during World War II.
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equivalent without actually discussing the matter with
his advisers. Red Cross did subsequently introduce an
Instructor Accreditation program.
In preparing this paper I contacted a number of State
members of the Australian Historical Society of

St John, to ask if there were noteworthy matters about
the relationship of St John to Red Cross in their States.
I am indebted in particular to Beth Dawson who gave
a detailed account of members with dual aliation
and of failed attempts to have reciprocal delegates to
their Councils, as well as a lot of information about
Voluntary Aid Detachments. I am indebted, also, to
Loredana Napoli and Betty Stirton for their meticulous
search through annual reports for information about
joint organisational actions.
What emerged from reading this material was a shared
historical background and a shared pursuit of the same
goals. Dierent players in dierent places did pretty
much the same work. There are too many to mention
individually, but it is encouraging to know that we
have been singing from the same songbook. It is also
chastening to know that we walk in the footsteps of
some truly wonderful people.
The late Millie Field DStJ in her
Australian Army Medical Women’s
Service (AAMWS) dress uniform, 1995.
She had joined a Red Cross Voluntary Aid
Detachment (VAD) during the 1930s
then transferred from her VAD to the
AAMWS after the latter was established
in 1942.
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What’s in a name? e ancient,
peculiar case of ‘St John Ambulance’
Ian Howie-Willis
Types of names
Whatever the language, people’s names usually derive from one of four sources:
1.
industries, trades and occupations, for example ‘Carpenter’, ‘Mason’ and ‘Smith’;
2.
places and geographical features, such as ‘Brook’, ‘Forest’ and ‘Hill’;
3.
nicknames, which often describe personal qualities, for instance ‘Smart’, ‘Strong’ and
‘Cameron’ (‘crooked nose’ in Gaelic);
4.
father’s names like ‘James’, ‘Richards’, ‘Williams’ and dozens more.
Institutional names are similar. They frequently use the name of the industry the owners
are engaged in (e.g. ‘Colonial Sugar Reneries’ and ‘Drug Houses of Australia’), the place
where they began (e.g., ‘Broken Hill Propriety’ and ‘Adelaide Steamship Company’), their
self-perception of what they are (e.g. ‘The Good Guys’ and ‘Pricebusters’) or the surname of
their founder (‘Coles’, ‘Myers’ and ‘David Jones’).
And so it is with ‘St John Ambulance’, a name derived from two such sources. The rst
part, ‘St John’, was the name of a place — a monastery in mediaeval Jerusalem dedicated to

St John the Baptist. The second part, ‘Ambulance’, is the name of a particular patient transport
vehicle which the St John organisation marketed during the 1870s.
The Greek Orthodox monastery and
church of St John the Baptist, Jerusalem.
Dating back to the 5th century AD,
the building was taken over by Brother
Gerard and his Hospitallers after the First
Crusade in 1099. The building reverted
to its original use after the expulsion of
the Crusaders from Palestine in 1291. The
Order of St John took its name from the
monastery’s patron, John the Baptist.

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Mediaeval origins of the Order of St John
To see how the two parts of the name ‘St John Ambulance’ came together, we must go back
to the 11th century AD in Jerusalem. About the year 1080 a group of Benedictine monks
associated with a Catholic church in Jerusalem, St Mary of the Latins, began running a refuge
for poor sick pilgrims visiting the city’s sacred sites. Their leader was a monk named Gerard
Thom, who might have been Italian or French.
The brethren’s charitable endeavours ourished; and so in 1113 the Pope of the day, Paschal
II, granted them independent status as a separate Order of the Church. Bro. Gerard became
their foundation Rector. Because of the work they did and where they did it, they took as their
name the ‘Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem’ or simply ‘Hospitallers’ for short.
By that time, the Hospitallers had begun establishing hospices overseas, of which there would
eventually be many dozens across Europe as well as in the eastern Mediterranean region.
After 1120 the Hospitallers took on a military as well as a charitable function. Every able-
bodied man available, even the ‘religious’, was required to help defend the Crusader Kingdom
of Jerusalem against continual attack by Muslim forces intent on pushing the Crusaders from
Palestine and adjacent territories. The Hospitallers began admitting knights into their Order,
as a result of which the Order’s military personnel became known as the ‘Knights of St John’
and the ‘Knights Hospitaller’ as well.
Eventually, in 1291, resurgent Muslim forces succeeded in driving the Hospitallers, their
brothers-in-arms, the Knights Templar, and other supporters of the Crusader states from
the walled city of Acre (present-day Akko), the last Crusader stronghold in Palestine. Most
retreated to nearby Cyprus.
The second rector of the Order of the Hospital of St John of
Jerusalem, Raymond du Puy de Provence (1083–1160).
Bro. Raymond was a French knight. Successor to the Order’s
founder, Bro. Gerard, he took the title ‘Grand Master’ of the
Order and gave the Order a military function in addition to its
original religious and charitable functions. He ruled the Order
for 40 years, 1120–1160.
From a stained glass window in the 12th century Crypt of the
Priory Church of the Order of St John, Clerkenwell, London.
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Rhodes, Malta and Rome
Wanting territory of their own, the Hospitallers occupied the Greek island of Rhodes in 1306.
They ruled Rhodes for the next 216 years, until expelled by forces of the Ottoman (Turkish)
Sultan, Suleiman the Magnicent, in 1522.
In 1530 the Hospitallers were granted the islands of Malta for a ‘peppercorn’ rent — a hunting
falcon annually, paid to the islands’ owner, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles V. They ruled
Malta for the next 268 years, until the French general, Napoleon Bonaparte, expelled them
in 1798. In the meantime, they also became known as the Knights of Malta, while their ancient
emblem, the white eight-pointed cross or ‘St John Cross’, became widely but erroneously
known as the ‘Maltese Cross’. (It’s properly called
the ‘Cross of Amal’, because Bro. Gerard and his
brethren had adopted the emblem of the Republic of
Amal, in gratitude to merchants of Amal who had
generously supported their original hospice.)
The white eight-point cross on black background of the
Hospitallers. Often called the ‘St John Cross’ and the
‘Maltese Cross’, it was the emblem of Amal, the Italian
city state whose merchants had generously supported
the hospice run by Bro. Gerard and his brethren.
Meanwhile, the Hospitallers’ Priory in England, a vigorous branch of the Order of St John
founded in the mid-1100s, had fallen on hard times. It ourished for four centuries, eventually
becoming one of the greatest land owners in England. Priories of the Order in Ireland and
Scotland also prospered. Numerous Commanderies of the Order, regional outposts of the
Priories, had spread across Britain.
All were suppressed during Britain’s religious reformation between the late 1530s and early
1560s, their estates seized by the Crown and sold o into private ownership. Hospitallers who
resisted the seizures were executed, though some escaped abroad and helped defend Malta
in 1565.
That was after the elderly Suleiman the Magnicent had invaded the islands, determined to
rid the Mediterranean of a source of persistent resistance to his territorial ambitions. The
Knights of St John, supported by the local Maltese, famously withstood the Great Siege of
1565. Suleiman’s armada eventually withdrew after suering huge losses during the three
months the siege lasted.
The Knights of St John/Knights of Malta were homeless after their expulsion from Malta
by Napoleon. Eventually, in 1834, they regrouped and established a new base in Rome — in
the Palazzo Malta, one of their surviving mansions. They remain based there to the present,
continuing as a Catholic religious and charitable order, now known as the Sovereign Military
Hospitaller Order of St John of Jerusalem, Rhodes and Malta. They have branches in many
nations, including Australia.
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e ‘revival’ of the Priory of England
In the late 1820s a group of French Knights of St John hatched a plan for regaining Rhodes
for the Order. The plan involved raising money in Britain, assisted by a revived Priory of the
Order in England. Although the priory had been defunct for over 270 years, a small group
of Englishmen, mainly Protestants, were admitted into the Order as Knights. They declared
the Priory re-established in 1831 and appointed a Prior. They then entered into protracted
negotiations with the parent Order, which, as seen, would soon be permanently based in
Rome. Their aim was to have the parent Order recognise their organisation as the Order’s
legitimately revived Priory of England.
The stumbling block here, of course, was their Protestantism. Indeed their Prior was not only
a Protestant but an Anglican vicar. The very idea of a Protestant Priory of a Catholic religious
order was anathema to the Order’s leaders in Rome. Eventually, in 1858, the Order disowned
and broke o dealings with its upstart self-proclaimed Protestant branch in England.
Rather than quietly go into abeyance, the English Priory declared itself to be a separate
order — the ‘Illustrious Order of the Hospital of St John of Jerusalem: Anglia’. Retaining the
parent order’s ‘Maltese Cross’ emblem and other ceremonial paraphernalia, the ‘Illustrious
Order’ continued operating as a fraternal, collegiate
organisation until 1888, when its charitable good
works, and especially its involvement in rst aid training
and delivery, earned it royal favour. In the meantime, it
had no ocial status; further, its claims to legitimacy
were recognised by few apart from its own members.
Arms of the Rev. Sir Robert Peat (
c.
1872–1837), inaugural
‘Grand Prior’ (1831–37) of the ‘revived’ Grand Priory of England
of the ancient Order of St John, suppressed by King Henry VIII
three centuries earlier. Rev. Peat’s Arms are displayed in the
Chapter Room at St John’s Gate, Clerkenwell, London.
Rev. Peat was the Church of England vicar at Brentford, Essex.
No known portrait of him has survived.
e Royal Charter of 1888
The year 1888 was a great turning point for this 57-year old self-styled ‘Order of St John’.
That year Queen Victoria bestowed upon it a rare honour — a Royal Charter establishing
it as a British royal order of chivalry. In accordance with its newfound prestige, it took the
grandiloquent new title ‘The Grand Priory in the British Realm of the Venerable Order of the
Hospital of St John of Jerusalem’. Fortunately, a ‘short form’ of this cumbersome name was
soon adopted — the ‘Order of St John’.
Under the Royal Charter, the Queen herself became the ‘Sovereign Head’ of the Order
and her son, Albert Edward the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), its Grand Prior.
Whatever the ‘revived priory’ had been previously, it was now an ocial Order of St John’ in
its own right.
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In the meantime, overseas branches of the Order had begun springing up in various outposts
of the British Empire. These included ‘Centres’ for teaching the St John rst aid course in
Melbourne (in 1883), Newcastle (1884), Adelaide (1884) and Launceston (1887).
By that stage, public rst aid training via the Centres of the St John Ambulance Association,
plus public rst aid service delivery through local units or ‘Divisions’ of the uniformed St John
Ambulance Brigade, had become the Order’s
raison d’être
.
First Aid — a new reason for being
The Order’s interest in rst aid had begun in 1870–71, when several of its leading members
had worked with Red Cross and other international humanitarian aid agencies providing relief
and health care support to both combatants in the Franco-Prussian War. They brought back
from the war ideas and innovations they soon applied in England.
Among these was the ‘Neuss Litter’, a detachable stretcher mounted on light cartwheels.
Of Prussian design and manufacture, the ‘Neuss’ was a precursor of the modern ambulance
trolley stretcher. It facilitated the rapid removal of the injured from battleelds to the
regimental dressing stations, and from there to the army eld aid hospitals in the rear.
Prussian
Johanniters
(members of the
German Order of St John) collecting the
wounded from a battleeld during the
Danish–Prussian War of 1864.
The two-wheeled stretcher in the left
foreground is a ‘Neuss Litter’. The ‘Neuss’
was used again in the Franco–Prussian
War of 1870–71, when members of the
British Order of St John saw it being
used.
A member of the Order who saw the ‘Neuss’ in use in France was Surgeon-General WGN
Manley
VC
(1831–1901), later the commander of the Royal Army Medical Corps. Manley
and his St John colleagues realised that the ‘Neuss’ could be readily adapted for civilian use.
At their urging, during 1874 the Order decided to import a number of the ‘Neuss’ litters into
Britain. To manage this enterprise it formed an ‘Ambulance Committee’ in December that
year.
Apparently the ‘Neuss’ was not entirely satisfactory because in December 1875 Manley was
granted Letters Patent on behalf of the Ambulance Committee to produce and market ‘a
new and improved ambulance litter’. The result was the ‘Neuss-Manley’ litter.

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e ‘St John Ambulance’ — a detachable stretcher on cart wheels
A prototype of the ‘Neuss-Manley’ seems to have been produced early in 1875, at least eight
months before Manley was granted the Letters Patent, because in April 1875 the Order
decreed that the new litter would henceforth be called the ‘St John Ambulance’ rather than
the ‘Neuss-Manley Litter’. The litters, be they ‘Neuss-Manleys’ or ‘St John Ambulances’,
were not locally manufactured in England but imported from Germany.
But why ‘ambulance’? The answer is simple. ‘Ambulance’, derived from the French
ambulant
,
meaning ‘capable of walking or being walked about’, at that time referred to two-wheeled litters
propelled by walking medical orderlies. A two-wheeled litter was accordingly an ‘ambulance’.
In time the word was also applied to the four-wheeled horse-drawn patient transport vans
then in use and to the motorised patient transport vehicles that succeeded them.
Surgeon-General William GN Manley
VC

(1831–1901), inaugural Director of the
Ambulance Committee of the ‘revived’
British Order of St John.
As well as the Victoria Cross and other
awards worn on the left and right breasts
of his uniform, Manley is wearing the
neck pendant of a Knight in the Order of
St John.
The ‘Neuss-Manley Litter’ of 1875,
produced in Germany and imported
by the Order of St John, it was soon
renamed the ‘St John Ambulance’. It was
the contraption from which the world-
wide St John Ambulance organisation
took its name.
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How many of its ‘St John Ambulances’ were imported and sold by the Order’s Ambulance
Committee is unknown. There were at least 38, because an 1880 brochure published by the
Order lists the places where the litters had been sent. In addition to those, a modied version
was adopted by the London Metropolitan Police in 1878 for use at police stations, which
often ran a rst aid service as well as undertaking routine policing.
The ‘St John Ambulance’ had only a short ‘shelf-life’. From late 1879 it was rapidly superseded
by a new two-wheeled litter, the ‘Ashford’, which had been designed by Sir John Furley
(1836–1919), one of Manley’s colleagues on the Ambulance Committee.
The ‘Ashford’, produced in Ashford, Kent, Furley’s home town, and marketed by the St John
Ambulance Association, was a great commercial success. Many hundreds were produced and
exported around the globe during the 60 years the Association continued marketing them,
1879–1939. Dozens were imported into Australia, many of which survive in museums and

St John Ambulance heritage centres.
Although dozens of ‘Ashfords’ are still extant, I’ve yet to discover a genuine original ‘St John
Ambulance’. Possibly a long disused ‘Neuss-Manley’/’St John Ambulance’ litter moulders
away unrecognised at the back of a storage shed somewhere; and there may even be one in
some obscure museum. If so, my research and inquiries over the past seven years have so far
not revealed where it/they might be.
The Museum of the Order of St John at Clerkenwell, London, certainly doesn’t have one; nor
does the Museum even have a photograph of one. Indeed there’s only one known illustration.
It’s the one shown above, which comes from an 1880 brochure of the Order of St John
describing the litter — ‘Ambulance Litters for the Conveyance of the Sick and Injured, Being
a Description of the ‘St John’ Ambulance Wheeled Litter Introduced and Patented by The
Order of St John of Jerusalem in England’.
Meanwhile, the name ‘St John Ambulance’ had stuck. The quickly superseded but iconic
stretcher-on-cartwheels was a contraption whose name became the title of a world-wide
charitable organisation specialising in patient care!
The ‘Ashford Litter’ of 1879, which
quickly superseded the ‘St John
Ambulance’.
Marketed by the St John Ambulance
Association for 60 years (1879-1939),
hundreds of ‘Ashfords’ were produced.
The ‘Ashford’ came in several models and
had various optional accessories such as
the folding hood shown in this picture.
Common to all models was the ‘U’-
shaped axle, which enabled the stretcher-
bearers to step through the framework
with the detached stretcher rather than
having to lift the stretcher and patient
up and over the wheels. The model
shown here was one of six exported
to Melbourne in 1886. Like others of
its ‘vintage’, it survives in the St John
Ambulance museum in Melbourne.
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‘St John Ambulance’ became the name of the branch of the Order that marketed the two-
wheeled litters — the St John Ambulance Association, established in 1877. Marketing the
litters was not the principal function of the Association, which existed primarily to train
the public in rst aid. The Association (now called St John Ambulance Training Branch in
Australia) also published its famous rst aid manual,
First Aid to the Injured
, used in instructing
the rst aid classes. Many millions of copies of the manual were produced through the 40
editions and hundreds of impressions published between 1879 and 1958. In Australia, its place
was eventually taken by a local St John manual,
Australian First Aid
.
First Aid to the Injured
, the ‘Little Black
Book’ used by the millions of people who
took the St John Ambulance course in
rst aid between 1879 and 1958.
The copy shown here is the 1920 edition
of the pocket-sized manual.
The name ‘St John Ambulance’ was also applied to the St John Ambulance Brigade, established
in 1887 as a voluntary uniformed eld force of trained rst aiders. As well as undertaking rst
aid duties at public events, Brigade members often worked as voluntary ambulance service
ancillaries. Now called St John Ambulance Event Health Services in Australia, the members
of this branch of the Order are the ‘Vollies’ — the volunteers in St John uniform on rst aid
duty wherever crowds gather.
In 1985 the national federal Australian St John Ambulance organisation adopted the ‘public’
or ‘trading’ name ‘St John Ambulance Australia’. More than 30 years later that is still the
name in use. It is one widely known as that of one of the nation’s most respected charitable
institutions, with diverse interests in rst aid training and delivery, the marketing of rst aid
kits, the publication of rst aid training manuals and ambulance service operations in three
jurisdictions — the Northern Territory, Western Australia and Victoria.
So ‘what’s in a name?’ and what’s the origin of the ancient, peculiar name ‘St John Ambulance’?
As the foregoing paragraphs indicate, the answer is a long one.
To recapitulate briey, the name comes from two sources — a monastery in Jerusalem at the
time of the First Crusade in 1099 and a two-wheeled stretcher of the 1870s designed for
transporting patients swiftly, safely and comfortably.
During the intervening seven centuries between 1099 and 1875, much had happened in
Middle Eastern, European, British and Australian history. The name ‘St John Ambulance’
encapsulates much of it.
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Contributing authors
John Pearn
is the Priory Librarian of the Priory in Australia of the Order of St John. Professor
Pearn is a former Director of Training for St John Ambulance Australia and a contributing
author in many volumes of
St John History
, as well as Editor-in-Chief of the iconic
The

Science of First Aid
. An eminent paediatrician, he is a Professor Emeritus in Paediatrics of the
University of Queensland. He has also had a distinguished military career, As Major General
Pearn, he served as Surgeon General of the Australian Defence Force 1998–2001.
Ian Howie-Willis
is a professional practising historian; his most recent book is
An Unending
War: The Australian Army’s struggle against malaria 1885–2015
(Big Sky Publications, Newport,
Sydney, 2016). He joined St John 36 years ago, recruited to produce the history,
A Century
for Australia: St John Ambulance in Australia 1883–1983
. Since then he has produced six other
St John histories either alone or with co-authors. He was Priory Librarian 2003–2012 and
was the foundation Secretary of the St John Ambulance Historical Society of Australia. He
is currently the Society’s Editor and also the historical adviser to the Oce of the Priory of
St John Ambulance Australia.
James Cheshire
is both a lawyer and an Australian Federal Police ocer based in
Melbourne, Australia. He is the Australian Historical Society’s Secretary, in which
capacity he organises the Society’s annual gatherings. The main events at these keenly
anticipated get-togethers are the Annual General Meetings and the History Seminars,
which generate most of the articles published in the St John Ambulance Australia’s journal,

St John History
.
Richard Waller
was the Chief Executive Ocer of the Priory of Scotland. He came to

St John after a career as an ocer in the Royal Navy, including submarine service, and then
a period as the bursar of an independent day and boarding school in Edinburgh. He considers
himself fortunate in his appointment having spanned a critical period of development for
St John, both nationally and internationally. He was involved with the 1999 reorganisation
of the Order worldwide and the progression of subsequent international initiatives. Within
Scotland, changes have included the development of a major program of support to mountain
rescue teams and similar voluntary bodies, mainly through the provision of vehicles and bases.
Because of a long-standing agreement with the Scottish charity, St Andrew’s Ambulance
Association, Scotland, like the USA, is exceptional in not providing St John rst aid training
or support. However, with the valued co-operation of St Andrew’s Ambulance, St John
Scotland is currently embarking on an exciting new First Responder activity, in conjunction
with the Scottish Ambulance Service.
Brian Fotheringham
is the founder and foundation President of the Historical Society of
Australia. He is also the founder of the Society’s State branch in South Australia, which
preceded the national society by several years. Previously he was the 14th St John Ambulance
Commissioner in South Australia and then served a record period of 13 years as the eighth
Priory Librarian. He joined St John 53 years ago as a ‘Probationary Surgeon’ within the South
Australian St John Ambulance organisation. His late father, Dr Jim Fotheringham MC, was
also a St John Commissioner in South Australia. In his professional life, Dr Fotheringham
Jnr spent most of career as a senior medical administrator at the Women’s and Children’s
Hospital in Adelaide.

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Tim Wieland
is a former paramedic and senior ambulance service administrator. He is a
former Chief Ocer of St John Ambulance in Papua New Guinea. He has also been a State
Headquarters sta member of the St John Ambulance Event Health Services in Queensland.
He is currently employed by the Commonwealth Government in emergency services
management in Canberra. He is the Historical Society of Australia’s Deputy Editor.
Dr Alan Mawdsley
is a retired psychiatrist and accomplished medical historian, who lives in
Melbourne, Australia He has spent 67 continuous years with St John, having rst joined as an
11-year-old Cadet. In the intervening years he has held most positions available to a St John
volunteer in Victoria. He is a former Victorian Commissioner and is a long-serving member
of his State St John Council. He is also a past Chair of the Victorian branch of the Australian
Historical Society, which runs a rst rate St John museum at Williamstown, Victoria.
Contributing authors

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