India General Service Medal 1854-1895, 1 clasp, Bhootan. Assistant Surgeon A. Brebner, 55th Regiment A few edge marks around 6.0 GVF


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Alexander Brebner was born on 17 October 1840 and was educated at Edinburgh and Aberdeen Universities. He was appointed Assistant Surgeon on 14 April 1863 and embarked for India that same year as a Medical Officer to the 55th Regiment.

An account of his good work during the Bhootan operations is to be found in The 55th in India, 1863-69:

‘For several months it (Bhutan Fever) clung to the Regiment most tenaciously; the hospital became full – there was not a vacant berth; in one month there were 400 admissions, and, for many days, the sick state showed around 100 and upwards, irrespective of 40 or 60 convalescents who attended daily, or twice or thrice a week. The medical attendants had a hard time of it; Dr. Parr being sick, and Dr. Randall with the depot at Lucknow, during this most trying time, the whole of the medical work and responsibility fell entirely upon Assistant Surgeon Brebner, who was happily found equal to so great an emergency; besides the hospital, there were sick women and children in barracks, and officers in the bungalows about the station; all required attendance, and, by his almost unremitting work, day and night, received it. With the consent of General Hume, a memorandum – “Preservation of Health, and Guidance for Men Falling Ill”, written by Dr. Brebner, was posted in all the barrack rooms, and proved of much service.’

Promoted Surgeon-Major in 1876 and Lieutenant-Colonel from 14 April 1883, Brebner died at West Newport, Fife, on 30 March 1913, a superb story.

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