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William
Darley-Hartley

Doctor & Town Councillor

Keith Tankard
Knowledge4Africa.com
Updated: 14 October 2009
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It is with great sadness that we have to announce that the creator of The Labyrinth of East London Lore, Dr T., has passed away. Helping people through his website gave him no end of pleasure. If you had contact with him and would like to leave a message, please send us an e-mail here.


DEATH NOTICE: see Master's Office, Cape Town, No 40595.

Dr Darley-Hartley was born in Sheffield in 1855, studied medicine at Guy's Hospital in London and settled in the Cape Colony in 1878 as a Civil Surgeon, where he was placed in charge of the Station Hospital at East London.

When the 9th Frontier War broke out in 1878, he joined the armed forces at the rank of Surgeon-Captain. He subsequently participated in the Zulu Campaign of 1879, served as Surgeon-Captain in the Kaffrarian Rifles during the Langeberg Campaign and was a civil surgeon in the Boer War.

Dr Darley-Hartley settled at East London in 1879 where he established a private practice and did much work for the municipality during the smallpox epidemic of 1884.

He then became interested in local politics and was elected to the Council in February 1882 to represent Ward 3 but resigned in December that year.

He decided to move to Cathcart in October 1884 during what contemporaries called the "Great Depression" and there established a number of journals, including the Farmer's Chronicle and The South African Freemason. He had already gained experience of journalism during his medical training when he served as editor of Guy's Hospital Gazette.

He returned to East London in September 1888 and resumed his medical practice while continuing to publish Freemason and started the South African Medical Journal in January 1884 as a private venture.

He also published the Frontier Standard from its inception in January 1890 until May that year as part of the firm Vincent and Company .

In 1893 Dr Darley-Hartley was appointed by the Council as its first Medical Officer of Health, during which time he initiated a crusade to improve East London's sanitary conditions. He retained that post until April 1898 when he moved to Cape Town and established himself as a physician.

In September that year he became a member of the Royal College of Physicians. In 1903 he founded the South African Medical Record and in 1927 became president of the Colonial Medical Council.

He died in Rondebosch in 1934 at the age of 79.

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