|This article does not cite any references or sources. (February 2008)|
Sir James Cantlie (1851–1926) was a Scottish physician. He was a pioneer of First Aid, which in 1875 was unknown: even the police had no knowledge of basic techniques such as how to stop serious bleeding and applying splints. He was influential in the study of tropical diseases.
In 1877 Cantlie became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons and Assistant Surgeon to Charing Cross Hospital; in 1886 he became Surgeon at Charing Cross. In 1888 he resigned to take up a position in Hong Kong. While in the colony, he co-founded the Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese, which later grew into the University of Hong Kong. One of his first pupils at the College was the future Chinese leader Sun Yat Sen. Cantlie's work in Hong Kong included investigations into leprosy and into various tropical diseases; in 1894 he encountered an outbreak of plague.
In 1896 poor health - caused by his untiring work as a teacher, researcher and practicing doctor - forced Cantlie to return to London. Later that year, Sun visited him, and was kidnapped by the Imperial Chinese secret service. Sun was imprisoned in the Chinese Legation, and would have been shipped back to China and executed had it not been for Cantlie, who led a media campaign which not only succeeded in releasing Sun but left Sun a hero in Britain.
Cantlie was involved in the setting up of the Journal of Tropical Medicine in 1898, and the founding of London School of Tropical Medicine in 1899. He was a founder in 1907 of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. During the early years of the twentieth century, and particularly during the First World War (1914–1919), Cantlie's work centred on the provision and training of ambulance services.
On his death he was buried in St Johns church, Cottered, Herts.
- Mark Harrison, "Cantlie, Sir James (1851–1926)", Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. September 2004.
- Choa, G. H. (2000) .The Life and Times of Sir Kai Ho, Chinese University Press, ISBN 962-201-873-4