Colonel Doctor Cyril Popham, Bantry, West Cork, (1890-1958), Medals World War 2. He was the son of Doctor Popham who is buried in the old Bantry Graveyard at Garryvucha.

A fine Second World War evacuation of Greece O.B.E. group of eleven awarded to Colonel C. Popham, Royal Army Medical Corps – no stranger to enemy fire after serving in a Motor Ambulance Convoy in France and Flanders – and winning a “mention” in Waziristan in 1920-21 – he saved countless lives during his command of the only established British Hospital in the disastrous Greek campaign

The Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, O.B.E. (Military) Officer’s 2nd type breast badge; 1914 Star (Lieut. C. Popham, R.A.M.C.); British War and Victory Medals (Capt. C. Popham); India General Service 1908-35, 1 clasp, Waziristan 1919-21, M.I.D. oak leaf (Capt. C. Popham, R.A.M.C.); 1939-45 Star; Africa Star; Defence and War Medals 1939-45, M.I.D. oak leaf; Jubilee 1935; Coronation 1937, the earlier awards a little polished but generally very fine or better

The Great War campaign pair awarded to Nurse M. B. Hayter, French Red Cross, afterwards the Colonel’s wife

British War and Victory Medals (M. B. Hayter), good very fine (13) £500-600

O.B.E. London Gazette 30 December 1941. The original recommendation states:

‘During the active phase of the Greek campaign, 26 General Hospital was the only British Hospital established. That it was able to expand with rapidity to more than double its normal capacity, and so deal with the large number of casualties which it did, was due to the untiring efforts of the Commanding Officer, Colonel C. Popham, who thus played an important part in making possible the evacuation of a large number of wounded who might otherwise have been left as P.O.Ws.’

Cyril Popham was born in Bantry, Co. Cork, in August 1890 and qualified in medicine at Edinburgh and Glasgow on the eve of the Great War. Appointed a Lieutenant in the Royal Army Medical Corps in August 1914, he joined No. 11 General Hospital in Boulogne that October, although his MIC suggests he also served in No. 4 Motor Ambulance Convoy around this time. Be that as it may, he remained actively employed in France until the end of hostilities and was advanced to Captain in June 1918.

Ordered to India in 1919, he was quickly back on operations in Waziristan (Medal & clasp), and was mentioned in despatches for distinguished services in the period 1920-21 (London Gazette 1 June 1923 refers). Advanced to Major while employed in Malta in September 1926, Popham commanded the British Military Hospitals at Sialkot and Ambala in India in the late 1930s and was serving as a Lieutenant-Colonel and S.M.O. the R.M.C. Sandhurst on the renewal of hostilities.

Embarked for Palestine in early 1940, he was, as cited above, awarded the O.B.E. for his important command of No. 26 General Hospital during the disastrous Greek campaign in the following year, in addition to being mentioned in despatches (London Gazette 30 December 1941, refers), and afterwards commanded No. 32 General Hospital in Egypt. Subsequently based in Palestine, he was A.D.M.S. at H.Q. 71 Sub-Area 1942-43 and D.D.M.S. at H.Q. 21 Area 1943-45, and was once more mentioned in despatches (London Gazette 6 April 1944, refers).

Immediately following the end of hostilities, Popham went out to North-West Europe where he served as C.O. of No. 113 General Hospital and No. 23 (Scottish) General Hospital, prior to returning to the U.K. to command the Military Hospital Chester in 1946-47. He was placed on the Retired List in December of the latter year.

The Colonel, who married Mary Hayter, a nurse who had served out in France in the French Red Cross in 1916, died in October 1958; sold with copied research.

Medals 25 Jun 14_1429_Internet Image 1




Many thanks to Jim Herlihy, Police Historian for bringing this to attention.

Father Thomas Popham MD

Died 4th October 1910 Thomas Popham MD The Terrace, Bantry Died at St. Patrick’s Terrace, Cork, probate to Benjamin Popham, retired Bank Manager and Henry Popham, Bank Manager effects £28,800 (2013 values c €4M) Buried with wife Helen, d 1897, plaque to him St Brendan’s Church, Bantry. Son Colonel Doctor Cyril 1890-158 distinguished medical doctor WW1, WW2, medals for sale 2014 A Popham, Barrister, London had advanced money to the Bantry Estate in the 1870s, Bantry Papers, UCC. Dispensary Doctor for Bantry 35 years.

There is a stained glass window in St Brendan’s church Bantry on the north side to Dr Thomas Popham but no plague.

Dr Cyril Popham may be the grandson of the Dr Popham who lived in Marlborough St, Cork. He was one of only 2 physicians attached to the Cork Workhouse during the years 1846 – 1849. He also attended patients in the North Infirmary Hospital and had a lectureship in physiology in Queen’s College, Cork. (Atlas of the Great Irish Famine p 151/2)

Years ago some of Dr Thomas Popham’s family came to Bantry looking for information and they were shown the grave and also show the window, which they were not aware of at all.