Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The secret of Dr. Barry

In 1966, the Joannesburg Public Library published a bibliography by Margaret Bevan, entitled “Dr. James Barry (1795?-1865): Inspector-General of Military Hospitals: A Bibliography”, yet another title in the Chicksands Collection.
Dr. Barry graduated from the University of Edinburgh. After joining the army, he served in India, South Africa, Canada, the West Indies, Malta and practically every part of the British Empire. By 1857 Barry was Inspector General of Military Hospitals and responsible for many improvements in both medical and surgical care of soldiers, their families and the local population. However, his brilliant career masked an incredible secret: he was actually born Margaret Ann Bulkley, choosing to live as a man so she could attend university and become a surgeon. The Barry family, including her uncle James Barry (noted Irish artist) colluded in this secret life.

1 comment:

  1. Alison here from over at the Air Force. I've always thought the story of Dr. Barry was one of the most impressive things ever!