These books are selected as relevant to the history of Welsh medicine.
The Society does not sell the books but you will find suppliers should you wish to purchase.

The Welsh National School of Medicine, 1893 – 1931: The Cardiff Years

ALUN ROBERTS. (2008), University of Wales Press, 416 pages. ISBN: 9780708321744 (0708321747)

This is an account of the origins and development of Cardiff’s, and Wales’, medical school during the first four, often controversial, decades of its existence as part of the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire. The book contributes not only to the history of medical education in the United Kingdom during a period of profound change, but also to the history of the University of Wales and its uneasy relationship with the Cardiff College. Indeed, the 1920s were characterised by often acrimonious disputes as to whether the medical school should remain within the College or, in accordance with its all-Wales role, become an independent institution.

Llangwyfan Magic, Volume 2: Memories

BUDDUG OWEN. (2009), Gwasg y Bwthyn. ISBN: 9781904845904 (1904845908)


Available from: Amazon

A Rare Hero: Dr. William Evans

BUDDUG OWEN. (1999), Gwasc Gee, 109 pages. ISBN: 9780707403298 (0707403294)

Available from:

A Biography of William Evans. Originally destined for the Church, at Disestablishment of the Church in Wales, his father advised William Evans to enter the Bank. Starting in Lloyds Bank, this career was interrupted by the First World War and never resumed. He entered the London Hospital where he became a Consulting Physician to the Cardiac Department, National Heart Hospital, and Institute of Cardiology. He was one of the Founders of the British Heart Foundation. An author who published books and papers, his greatest legacy was that he was a superb teacher whose influence extended internationally.

Llangwyfan Magic, Volume 1: Lest We Forget

BUDDUG OWEN. (2008), Gwasg y Bwthyn, 144 pages. ISBN: 9781904845829 (1904845827)

Available from: Amazon

Llangwyfan – Sanatorium to Hospital

BUDDUG OWEN. (2007), Published by Buddug Owen, 215 pages.

Hardcover. Available from: Amazon

A history of Llangwyfan Hospital built during the First World War. It originally functioned as a hospital for the treatment of Tuberculosis.

Medical Detectives – The lives and cases of Britain’s Forensic Five

ROBIN O’DELL. (2013), The History Press, 224 pages. ISBN: 978-0752464497 (0752464493)

Paperback. Available from: Amazon

Foreward by Professor Bernard Knight, CBE.The development of forensic pathology in Britain is told here through the lives of five outstanding medical pioneers. Spanning seventy years, their careers and achievements marked major milestones in the development of legal medicine, their work and innovation laying the foundations for modern crime scene investigation (CSI). Bernard Spilsbury, Sydney Smith and Professors Glaister, Camps and Simpson were the original expert witnesses. Between them, they performed over 200,000 post-mortems during their professional careers, establishing crucial elements of murder investigation such as time, place and cause of death.

Journal of Medical Biography.

Editor: Christopher Gardner-Thorpe, (February 1993 – ), The Royal Society of Medicine Journals,

Quarterly Periodical.

Available from: Sage Publications Ltd., 1 Oliver’s Yard, 55 City Road, London EC1Y 1SP

A highly illustrated look at the lives of extraordinary people who have shaped the world of medicine today, The Journal of Medical Biography covers medical personalities and many others in the field of health care, hospitals, instruments, techniques and so on. It features original research on persons and places, legendary and less well known, and provides a fresh new perspective on life and lives.

How British Women Became Doctors – The Story of the Royal Free Hospital and its Medical School.
Neil McIntyre(2014), Wenrowave Press, 580 pages.
Hardcover & Paperback.
Available from the author.

THE NORTH WALES QUARRY HOSPITALS and the Health and Wellfare of the Quarrymen

Edward Davies. (2003), Gwynnedd Archives Service, 311 pages. ISBN 0-901337-83-8


Available used from: Amazon

Guthrie’s War: A Surgeon of the Peninsula and Waterloo

Michael Crumplin. (2010), Pen & Sword Military, 256 pages. ISBN 978-1848842458


Available used from: Amazon

George James Guthrie is one of the unsung heroes of the Peninsular War and Waterloo, and of British military medicine. He was a guiding light in surgery. He was not only a soldier’s surgeon and a hands-on doctor, he also set a precedent by keeping records and statistics of cases. While the innovations in the medical services of the French Republic and Empire have been publicized, a military surgeon of the calibre of Guthrie has been largely ignored by students of the period – until now.

Men of Steel: Surgery in the Napoleonic Wars

Michael Crumplin. (2007), Quiller Press, 376 pages. ISBN: 978-1904057949


Available from: Amazon

Based on the author’s exhaustive researches, this is the first dedicated account of the practice of surgery during the pre-anaesthetic and pre-antiseptic days of the Napoleonic War. The author, a retired surgeon, captures both the background and nature of the patients, the experience of wounding and the training of surgeons. The surgeons had to battle against contagion, infection and bleeding, often operating in the most appalling conditions but in spite of this some of their results were truly remarkable.

With Scott in the Antarctic – Edward Wilson, Explorer, Naturalist, Artist.

Isobel Williams, (2009), The History Press, 336 pages. ISBN: 978-0752452463

Hardcover and Paperback.

Available from: Amazon

This is the first full biography of the man who accompanied Scott on his Antarctic expeditions and died with him on the ill fated return of the polar party from the South Pole. Wilson, had contracted pulmonary tuberculosis from which he was recovering when he was recruited by Scott as scientist, naturalist and doctor for the first expedition to Antarctica. The Polar Party perished on their return from the South Pole on Scott’s 2nd Expedition. Travelling one month later than Amundsen, who famously exploited 100 dogs, Scott’s slower man-hauling expedition encountered savage weather and the intense cold of an early winter that exhausted the team, their fuel and their inadequate food stores. Isobel Williams has eloquently reviewed the arguments that still prevail about the strategies and the conditions encountered.

Captain Scott’s Invaluable Assistant: Edgar Evans

Paperback – Illustrated, 1 Jan. 2012

Edgar Evans was described by Robert Falcon Scott as ‘a giant worker. . . an invaluable assistant’. Having joined the Royal Navy as a boy sailor at the age of 15, he rose rapidly to the rank of chief petty officer, serving with a young Scott on board Hms Majestic along the way. He took part in the Discovery expedition of 1901-04, and was awarded the Polar Medal on Scott’s recommendation. In between expeditions, he trained the Royal Tournament-winning Portsmouth field gun team. He explored more miles of Antarctica than any other member of the Terra Nova expedition, but his contribution has been largely overlooked because of the implication that, as he was the first to die, he slowed up the progress of the return journey. Isobel Williams’s biography of Evans corrects this false impression, as well as redresses the balance of the attention paid to the upper- and lower-deck members of the expedition.

Discovering Welsh Graves – A Pocket Guide

Alun Roberts. (2002), University of Wales Press, 160 pages. ISBN 978-0708317921


Available used from: Amazon

This new and unusual Pocket Guide refers to more than 300 Welsh graves of the famous and not so famous. They are grouped in convenient geographical areas using the current local government boundaries and there is guidance on how to find the graves. The book is not so much about the graves themselves (although where they are particularly notable there are photographs and descriptions) but about the people buried in them.

Carpe Diem – A surgical Life in South Wales. A History and Personal Views of David L Crosby

David L Crosby. (2008), Privately published, 188 pages. ISBN 05659995

Hardback. Available to members on loan from the Secretary.

This book was presented to the Society by Dr Gwenda Crosby, widow of Mr David Crosby.

The book commences with a tribute by Dr John Henry Jones, a friend and colleague of many years. It continues with an autobiographical account by David of his professional life, followed by an anthology of his papers and letters in which he sets out his arguments for the conduct and management of the specialties of medicine and surgery and his views of the Health Service. It ends with a collection of the numerous eulogies and obituaries written of him summarising his full and caring life.

In Search of the Physicians of Myddfai (Meddygon Myddfai)

Professor David.P.Davies. (2017), Llanerch Press, 150 pages. ISBN 978 1 861431 73 8.

Paperback. Available from the Publishers, 48 Rectory Road, Burnham-on-Sea, TA8 2BZ.

In 1861 ‘The Physicians of Myddvai; Meddyygon Myddfai’ by the Rev. John Williams ab Ithel and John Pughe provided the Welsh reading public for the first time with a description of the Myddfai Tradition, the remedies and medical philosophy of a family of 13th century Welsh doctors from Carmarthenshire. 150 years later, the author returns to Myddfai to discover this tradition. Who were these doctors and how might they have acquired their medical knowledge? What were the remedies and their medicinal value and what of the doctors’ legacies? Remembered also are their legendary origins, born to the Lady of the Lake, a magical story that weaves its way throughout the book.

To Stand by the Sickbed – towards a history of medical practice in Swansea

Dr Tom Davies (2019), Y Lolfa Cyf, 416 pages. ISBN 978 1 78461 698 4.


Available from the Publishers, Y Lolfa Cyf, Talybont, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY24 5HE

This is an extraordinary volume of information relating to health concerns and treatments in the Swansea area with particular reference to the 19th century. There is detailed information regarding disease, legislation, provision and care. There follows a section of biographic studies of those who served in the area.

The author was a consultant psychiatrist (Swansea) & Apothecaries Lecturer in the History of Medicine, at Cardiff & Swansea Medical Schools.