Obituary notices: Walter Soper Gervis

Trans. Devon. Assoc. vol. 24, (1892) pp. 42-43.

Provided by Michael Steer

Walter Soper Gervis MD, MRCS, FGS (born 1827 at Tiverton, died 1892 at Ashburton), son of George Gervis, LACH, FRCS. He married Jane Parnell Stear of Dean Prior in 1886, (Newton Abbot Registry). He was admitted to the Royal College of Surgeons in 1854 and received an Apothecaries Hall certificate to practice medicine 14 June that year. Google with the Archive Organization has sponsored the digitisation of books from several libraries. The Internet Archive makes available, in its Community Texts Collection (originally known as Open Source Books), books that have been digitised by Google from a number of libraries. These are books on which copyright has expired, and are available free for educational and research use. This rare book was produced from a copy held by Princeton University Library, and is available from the Internet Archive.

Obituary Notice compiled by

The Rev W Harpley MA, Hon Secretary of the Association.

Walter Soper Gervis MD, MRCS, FGS was a native of Ashburton and followed in the footsteps of his father as a medical practitioner, having commenced practice at the age of twenty-three, more than forty years ago, in conjunction with Dr Bean. The partnership was of short duration and Dr Gervis practised with the aid of assistants among a large majority of the inhabitants of the district until some ten years ago, when the late Dr Fraser joined him, Dr Lewis Brown succeeded the latter gentleman less than two years ago. Having been parish doctor, medical officer to the Rational Sick and Burial Association, one of the medical officers of the Loyal Ashburton Lodge of Oddfellows, of which he had for many years been an honorary member, and one of the medical staff of the Cottage Hospital, he will be sorely missed.

In other respects Dr Gervis was also a most active townsman and prominent member of society, among the many offices he filled being those of churchwarden, trustee of church and parish lands, trustee and treasurer of many of the principal charities, including Bickham's, a governor of the Grammar School, chairman of the Sanitary Committee, chairman of the Conservative Committee, vice-president of the Constitutional Club, and past president of the Institute, in the establishment of which he took a very active part. In Freemasonry he was deeply interested, having been one of the founders of Lodge Ashburton, No 2,189, filling the office of WM in 1889-90; and at the time of his death he was Provincial G.S.D. and M. of the Royal Arch at Newton Abbot. In the raising of the Ashburton Volunteer Corps in 1859, then an independent company, he was very zealous and served as Surgeon, subsequently becoming surgeon-major of the 5th Administrative Battalion D.V., to which the company was attached. He retired in 1876 but continued to take an active interest in the welfare of the local volunteers, and from time to time was donor of valuable prizes. To him the Ashburton Musical Society was much indebted for help in many ways, and he recently filled the office of president.

Dr Gervis was Fellow of the Geological Society, and a life member of the British Association, the annual meetings of which he usually attended. He was also a member of the Teign Naturalists' Field Club, of which he was one of the earliest presidents. He joined this Association in 1871 and was a life member. On several occasions he represented the Association as a delegate at the meetings of the British Association, and notably so in 1884, when the latter Association visited Canada. He was also a member of the Council. Dr Gervis died at his residence, Ashburton, on the morning of Sunday, January 3rd 1892, having succumbed, after a brief illness, to an attack of bronchitis and pleurisy. The news of his death was received on all hands with genuine sorrow. He had been a most earnest supporter of any scheme which had for its object the improvement and beautifying of the town and neighbourhood, and in church affairs he was a zealous worker.