He was born in Namur, Belgium, the son of Thomas William Bowlby (1818–1860), a correspondent to The Times who died in captivity in China. Anthony was educated at Durham School and St Bartholomew's Hospital, London (1876), qualifying M.R.C.S. in 1879.
In 1880 he was appointed House Surgeon at St Bartholomew's, was promoted to Surgical Registrar to the Hospital and Demonstrator of Practical Surgery in 1884, then to Assistant Surgeon and in 1903 to full Surgeon. During the Boer War (1899–1900) he served in South Africa at the Portland Field Hospital, Bloemfontein, after which he was awarded C.M.G.
He was Surgeon to HM King Edward VII's Household between 1904 and 1910 and Honorary Surgeon-in-Ordinary to HM King George V in 1910. He was knighted K.B. in 1911.
He served in France in the First World War as Consulting Surgeon to the Forces, with the rank of Major-General, Army Medical Services and towards the end of the war became Adviser on Surgery for the whole of the British area, Front and Base. His main achievement was the development of Casualty Clearing Stations into quasi hospitals carrying out major surgery.
He served as a Councillor of the Royal College of Surgeons of England from 1904 until 1920, when he became President for three years. He delivered the Bradshaw Lecture in 1915 on the subject of "Wounds in War" and gave the Hunterian Oration in 1919.
He died on holiday at Stoney Cross, Lyndhurst, on 7 April 1929, was cremated at Brookwood, and buried at Brooklands Cemetery. He had married Maria Bridget, the daughter of Canon the Hon. Hugh Wynne Mostyn, with whom he had three sons and three daughters. He was succeeded as Baronet by his eldest son, Anthony Hugh.
Honours and awards
- Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, 1881
- Knight Bachelor, 1911
- K.C.M.G., 1915
- K.C.V.O., 1916
- K.C.B, 1919
- D.S.M. (U.S.).
- President of the Royal College of Surgeons 1920–23.
- Honorary D.C.L., Durham University, 1923.
He was created 1st Baronet Bowlby, of Manchester Square, Borough of St. Marylebone [U.K.] on 17 July 1923.
- Surgical Pathology and Morbid Anatomy, 16mo, London, 1887.
- Injuries and Diseases of Nerves and their Surgical Treatment, 8vo, 20 plates. London, 1889; Philadelphia, 1890.
- A Civilian War Hospital, with Cuthbert Sidney Wallace, being an account of the work of the Portland Hospital and of experience of wounds and sickness in South Africa, 1900 (etc.), 8vo, 50 plates, London, 1901.
|Baronetage of the United Kingdom|
(Manchester Square, Borough of St. Marylebone)
Anthony Hugh Bowlby