Alfred Keogh

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Alfred Henry Keogh
Alfred Henry Keogh c. 1919

Sir Alfred Henry Keogh, GCB, GCVO, CH (3 July 1857 – 30 July 1936) was a medical doctor in the British Army. He served as Director General Army Medical Services twice; from 1905 to 1910 and 1914 to 1918.[1]

Early life[edit]

Keogh was born in Dublin on 3 July 1857 to Henry Keogh, a barrister and magistrate of Roscommon.[2] He was educated at Queen's College, Galway, and Guy's Hospital, London.[3] He received his Doctor of Medicine (MD) degree from the Queen's University of Ireland in 1878.[1]

Upon graduation he moved to London to undertake his house officer placements. He served as a house physician at the Brompton Hospital for Diseases of the Chest, and as a clinical assistant at the Royal Westminster Ophthalmic Hospital.[2]

Military career[edit]

On 2 March 1880, Keogh was commissioned into the Army Medical Services as a surgeon-captain.[2] His first posting was as a surgeon to the Royal Arsenal, Woolwich.[1] On 6 March 1892, he was promoted to surgeon-major.[4][2] With the outbreak of the Second Boer War in 1899, he was posted to South Africa.[3] He was promoted to lieutenant colonel on 6 March 1900,[5] and became commander of No. 3 General Hospital near Cape Town.[1] During the war, he served in Cape Colony, the Orange Free State, and the Transvaal Republic.[2]

In January 1902, following his return from the Second Boer War, he was appointed Deputy Director General of the Army Medical Services.[6][7] He was promoted to colonel on 2 December 1904.[2] On 1 January 1905, he was appointed Director General Army Medical Services and promoted to lieutenant-general.[2] He retired from the military on 6 March 1910.[8]

With the outbreak of World War I, he was reappointed DGAMS on 3 October 1914.[9] He supervised the huge expansion of the Army’s medical services to cope with the war,[3] and was in command of the medical services in the UK.[2] He left the appointment and the military in June 1918.[1]

Later life[edit]

He was appointed Rector of Imperial College London and served from 1910 to 1922.

He died at 10 Warwick Square, London, on 30 July 1936.[2] A requiem mass was held at Westminster Cathedral.[7] He was buried in the Marylebone Cemetery, Finchley.[2]

Honours and decorations[edit]

On 29 November 1900, he was appointed Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in recognition of services in the Campaign in South Africa, 1899 to 1900.[10] On 7 May 1903, he was appointed a Knight of Grace of the Venerable Order of Saint John (KStJ).[11] He was promoted to Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath in the 1906 King's Birthday Honours.[12] On 24 July 1907, he was appointed Honorary Physician to the King (KHP).[13] He was promoted to Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath (GCB) on 24 January 1917 'for services rendered in connection with [WWI]'.[14] He was appointed to the Order of the Companions of Honour (CH) on 25 February 1918 'for services in connection with the war'.[15] In the 1918 King's Birthday Honours, he was appointed Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order (GCVO).[16]

He was a recipient of a number of foreign honours. In 1917, he was appointed Grand Officer of the Order of the Crown by the King of the Belgians,[17] and Grand Officer of the Legion of Honour by the President of France.[18] In 1918, he was awarded the Order of the White Eagle, 2nd Class by the King of Serbia.[19]

He received the Queen's South Africa Medal with four clasps in 1901.[2]


  • The Keogh Platoon is named in honour of Sir Alfred Keogh, who is enshrined in the history of the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC).
  • The Keogh Barracks at Mytchett, Surrey, was also named in Sir Alfred Keogh's memory.
  • Keogh Hall, a hall of residence at Imperial College London is named in his honour.[20]

An original portrait of Sir Alfred Keogh by Arthur Hacker RA hangs in the RAMC HQ Mess at the former Army Staff College, Camberley.


  1. ^ a b c d e Harrison, Mark (October 2008). "Keogh, Sir Alfred (1857–1936)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2 February 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Keogh, Sir Alfred Henry (1857–1936)". Plarr's Lives of the Fellows Online. Royal College of Surgeons of England. 31 July 2013. Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c "Sir Alfred Henry Keogh". Munks Roll. Royal College of Physicians of London. Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  4. ^ The London Gazette: no. 26270. p. 1704. 22 March 1892. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  5. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27180. p. 2284. 6 April 1900. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  6. ^ "Naval & Military intelligence" The Times (London). Thursday, 28 November 1901. (36624), p. 10.
  7. ^ a b "OBITUARY". The Tablet. 8 August 1936. Retrieved 7 February 2014. 
  8. ^ The London Gazette: no. 28346. p. 1684. 8 March 1910. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  9. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29372. p. 11458. 16 November 1915. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  10. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27306. pp. 2695–2697. 19 April 1901. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  11. ^ The London Gazette: no. 27550. p. 2921. 8 May 1903. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  12. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 27926. pp. 4459–4460. 26 June 1906. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  13. ^ The London Gazette: no. 28053. p. 5785. 23 August 1907. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  14. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 29916. p. 923. 23 January 1917. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  15. ^ The London Gazette: no. 30551. p. 2631. 1 March 1918. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  16. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30723. p. 6532. 31 May 1918. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  17. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30302. pp. 9861–9864. 21 September 1917. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  18. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30306. pp. 9945–9946. 25 September 1917. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  19. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 30891. p. 10645. 6 September 1918. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  20. ^ "Sir Alfred Keogh, GCB, GCVO, CH, LLD (Rector 1910–22)". Imperial College London. Retrieved 7 February 2014. 

External links[edit]

Academic offices
Preceded by
Henry Bovey
Rector of Imperial College London
Succeeded by
Thomas Holland