Friday, September 13, 2013

Bankier, Robert Austin (1842-d.1853, HK)

updated November 6, 2013

d. June 22, 1853, Hong Kong; bur. Hong Kong Cemetery, Happy Valley. MD (Glas.) 1843. RN, Assistant Surgeon 1836; Surgeon 1843; Blane Medal [1] 1843; HMS. Herald May 29, 1838; HMS Pelorus 1839; HMS Bentinck 1841; HMS Winchester; Hong Kong May 1942.

HONG KONG, May 1842. RN Surgeon, HMS Blenheim; Surgeon In-Charge, HMS Alligator (hospital ship), later HMS Minden (hospital ship). Founding Member, China Medico-Chirurgical Society 1845 [2]

Siblings: 1. James Bankier, b.[n.d.]-d.1871; MD (Glas.) 1831; Royal Navy, Surgeon [3].

Neopomacentrus bankieri. Credit: Fish Album
[Bankier was a noted naturist. He collected a specimen of tropical fish in Hong Kong, which was described as a new species. Neopomacentrus bankieri, commonly known as Chinese Demoiselle, was named after him.]  

[I am in debt to Andrew Marsh for sharing valuable information about Dr. Bankier. I knew neither about the Blane Medal nor Dr. James Bankier until Andrew wrote me on August 5, 2013. Andrew's grandmother, Dr. Edyth Marsh MBChB BSC (nee Bankier) was the granddaughter of Dr. James Bankier.]

The Blane Medal. Credit: Stack's Bowers
[1] The Blane Medal, also known as the Gilbert Blane Gold Medal, was founded by Gilbert Blane in 1830. Two gold medals were to be conferred once in every two years on two Royal Navy medical officers who produced the most outstanding journals “evincing the most distinguished prrofs of skill, diligence, humanity, and learning in the exercises of their professional duties.” The panel of judges were the Presidents of the Royal Colleges of Physicians (London), and Surgeons (England), and the Director-General of the Medical Department of the Navy. The first medals were given in 1832. The co-awardee with Bankier in 1843 was William Lindsay. Gilbert Blane, b.1749-d.1834, 1st Baronet of Blanefield, was a naval surgeon (and later private practitioner) who received his MD degree from the University of Glasgow in 1778.

[2] The China Medico-Chirurgical Society was founded at a meeting held on May 13, 1845 at the Hong Kong residence of Francis Dill. There were11 Founding Members, and they were: Alfred Green G. Tucker (President), Benjamin Hobson (Secretary), James Hume Young (Treasurer), Robert Austin Bankier, George K. Barton, Francis Dill, William Aurelius Harland, Henry Holgate, Kenneth McKenzie Kennedy, Samuel Marjoribanks, and Peter Young. By the design of Harland and Bankier, the society was renamed Philosophical Society, and in January 1847, it was reconstituted as the Asiatic Society of China.

[3] Assistant Surgeon 1827; Surgeon 1834; Staff Surgeon 1859; publications: Essay on the Origin, Progress, and Treatment of Cholera; with Remarks on Beriberi and Diet, 1835; had issue: 1. son [s.n.] 1859.

Selected bibliography: Calendar of the Royal College of Surgeon of England, London: Taylor and Francis, 1918. Find A Grave [internet]. Haultain, Charles (Ed.), The New Naval List, London: Simpkin, Marshall & Co., 1840. Naval Chronicle for 1941, London: Simpkin, Marshall & Co., 1841. The Navy List 1834, 1841. Rydings, H.A., Transactions of the China Medico-Chirurgical Society, 1845-6. William Loney RN › Naval Surgeons [internet].


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