Local Doctor

Frederick George Engelbach qualified as Doctor and Surgeon at St Bartholomew’s in London in 1866, then came to Moretonhampstead.  He lived at Cookshayes in Court Street, and practised first independently, then with Dr Collyns in Cross Street, then as senior partner with Dr J.S.F. Clark.  At that time he was also Medical Attendant to the Convalescent Home and to the Birch Tor and Vitifer mines.  In 1898 he moved to London.

Captain of Volunteers

He entered very thoroughly into the life of the town and was instrumental in brightening the lives of the workers in many ways.  In 1896 he raised the local company for the Volunteer Battalion of the Devonshire Regiment and was appointed Captain.  Always throwing himself heart and soul into whatever he undertook, he spent his hard-earned holiday at Southsea, in order to pass  the school of instruction and thoroughly fit himself for his position.

Army Surgeon

When the Boer War broke out he volunteered for service and was appointed Civil Surgeon by the War Office.  He arrived in time to accompany General French in his famous ride to Kimberley.  Always close to the front, he then accompanied the army in its march to Bloemfontein and then to Pretoria.  He also went to Foundeberg at the time of the surrender of Prinsloo and was present at the battle of Diamond Hill.  His last letters stated that he was at Riefontein and that a Boer attack was not improbable.  The death of Surgeon Engelbach of the Yeomanry hospital was a typically brave one.  Tending the wounded under heavy fire he was shot through the palm of the left hand and had just made a grim joke about now being handicapped in his work when, in standing up to dress his wound, he was killed by a bullet through the forehead.  At Nooitgedacht he met the death he would have wished – killed while assisting his wounded under a hail of the enemy’s bullets.

From obituaries in the Lancet (1901, I, 211) and Brit. Med. J. (1901, I, 311)

Dr Engelbach has a memorial in the church, where there is also an epipiscopal chair that he himself made.