Haripado Chatterjee LRCPE, LRCSE, LRCPSG


Haripado Chatterjee was a Freemason and member of Lodge Temperance 2557 which at the time of the Great War was meeting at the Royal Assembly Rooms, Westgate Road, Newcastle Upon Tyne.

The hand written entry in the WW1 Roll of Honour at the end of the Lodge Temperance 2557 Minute Book reads “Hari Pado Chatterjee, the next word is difficult to read and could be With Forces in Egypt or perhaps 7nth Forces in Egypt”.

It was reported in the London Gazette of the 21st September 1915 that Haripado Chatterjee was given the temporary rank of Lieutenant in the Indian Medical Service on 11th September 1915. He would have served wherever the Indian Army deployed its troops, which included Egypt, providing medical, surgical and dental services. Haripado’s service and other military records have proved impossible to trace.

He obtained his Medical licence in 1910 in Scotland with the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow: LRCPE, LRCSE and LRCPSG. The Edinburgh Medical Journal published in 1908 shows Haripado Chatterjee, Calcutta passing his second examination. These examinations were usually taken either by partly trained refugee doctors, or by doctors who had been trained at an overseas medical school not recognised by the World Health Organization, or by other overseas graduates who wished to transfer more easily from limited to full registration with the General Medical Council. It is likely that Haripado was trained at an overseas medical school and took these examinations to obtain full registration.

The recently released Medical Students Register for 1907 shows that he graduated from the University of Calcutta in 1904. He went on to study medicine at the Calcutta Medical College graduating in 1907 and registering with the British General Medical Council on 20th August 1907. *

He registered with the General Medical Council on the 17th October 1910 in Scotland.

He moved to the North East shortly after graduating and The Medical Registers published in 1911 and 1913 show Haripado living at 16, Croft Terrace, Jarrow on Tyne.

In the Census taken in April 1911, he is living in the household of William Munns Jennings a General Practitioner at 11, Croft Terrace, Jarrow on Tyne. There are 14 people living in this 11 room house which also serves as a doctor’s practice. Strangely, Haripado is listed as a servant. He is 26 years old, single, an assistant General Practitioner from Calcutta, resident British India.

It has proved impossible to find any information on his parents or any siblings. He was born around 1885 in Calcutta, India and married Mary L. Gibb on the 16th May 1911 in South Shields. It is not known if they had any children.

At the Lodge Temperance 2557 meeting held at the Assembly Rooms on the 19th Jan 1914, Haripado was proposed by Wbro. Morris Marks and seconded by Bro. E.W. Watson as a fit and proper person to be made a Freemason. He was a 29 year old Medical Practitioner living at 3, East View, South Moor, Stanley, Co. Durham. At the meeting of the 16th February 1914 a successful ballot was held and he was initiated into the Mysteries and Privileges of Ancient Freemasonry. He was passed to the second or Fellowcraft degree on the 16th March and was raised to the Sublime degree of a Master Mason on Monday 20th April. He signed his Grand Lodge Certificate in open lodge on the 15th June 1914.

In December 1914, he was still living in Stanley, Co. Durham and was charged by the General Medical Council of canvassing in connection of an appointment he held with the Miner’s Medical Association. He provided evidence of good character and of his having resigned his position with the Miner’s Association and the Council decided not to erase his name from their register.

From the Newcastle Journal of May 29th 1914:

Medical Council and a Local Doctor. Judgement was given by the General Medical Council yesterday in the case in which it was alleged that Mr. Haripado Chatterjee, of south Moor, as Medical Officer of the South Moor Medical Association, had induced persons to join the Association, and so to become his patients by means of advertising his own qualification in public speeches.

The Association, it was stated by counsel for the Medical Council, was one under which workman could obtain medical attendance at a reduced rate of from 9d to 6d. Dr Chatterjee was a panel doctor, and it was alleged that a number of insured persons were induced to transfer to his panel. Two meetings held by the Association were, said counsel announced by the town crier by means of a “corncrake”.

Dr Chatterjee said his speeches were made in answer to statements in anonymous letters in the local Press, especially one in which he was referred to as a “blackleg”, and as a “black man”.

The President (Sir  D.  Macalister), announcing the Council’s decision, said they considered the case was proved, but they had suspended their judgment until the November Session, when Dr. Chatterjee would be required to produce evidence as to his professional conduct in the interval and as to the methods of the Association under which the doctor had accepted empoyment.”

 In the Medical Register of 1915 his is living at 37, School Terrace, South Moor, Stanley, Co. Durham but the register published in 1919 shows he has moved with his family to Whalsey in the Shetland Islands off the mainland of Scotland. He is not listed in the regsiters after that.

Haripado is commemorated in Newcastle on the North East War Memorial Project website Roll of Honour 1914-18 Lodge Temperance 2557 (NUT254).



* Page updated 7th October 2016