Although G. J. Guthrie was the outstanding military surgeon in England in his time, he was never appointed to the highest post, Inspector-General of its army hospitals.1 He was born in London, where his father was engaged in the manufacture of emplastrum lythargyri and other surgical supplies, providing a substantial income. Guthrie was educated in boyhood by a French tutor, but misfortune in the family business forced him to prepare for his life's work independently. At 13 years of age, he was apprenticed to the medical profession; two years later he was appointed an assistant at York (military) Hospital. This was followed by qualification as a diplomate of the Royal College of Surgeons and appointment as assistant surgeon to the 29th Regiment, which served in Canada from 1802 to 1807. No military activity during this sojourn abroad is reported, and it is presumed that his assignment was uneventful. In
GEORGE JAMES GUTHRIE (1785-1856) ENGLISH MILITARY SURGEON. JAMA. 1967;200(5):408–409. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120180096020
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