Dr Charles Kennedy  

King Edward VII Police (Scotland) Medal, 1903


 The list of six Doctors awarded the ‘Visit to Scotland medal by the Lord Provost of Edinburgh, the Right Honourable Sir Robert Cranston in a ceremony at Royal Exchange Square, Edinburgh on 1 March, 1904 and published in the Police Review and Parade Gossip of 4 March, 1904 includes the following:[i]


Dr Sir Henry Duncan Littlejohn

Dr Henry Harvey Littlejohn

Dr Claude Buchanan Ker

Dr Edmund Frederick Tanney Price

Dr Alexander William Gordon Price

Dr Charles Kennedy



Dr Charles Fraser Kennedy



Charles Fraser Kennedy was born on 14 May, 1859 at 3 Crichton Street in Edinburgh. His father was David Kennedy, a ‘Teacher of Music’ and Elizabeth Fraser or Kennedy.


His father registered the birth. [ii]


On 2 July, 1885, in the Queens Hotel, Dundee in the District of St Peter, after Banns according to the Forms of the Congregationalists, Dr Charles Kennedy, (26), a Medical Practitioner of 16 Arniston Place (now known as East Newington Place), Newington in Edinburgh, was married to Alice Watson, (25), a Spinster of 30 Reform Street in Dundee.


His parents were David Kennedy, a ‘Scottish Vocalist’ and Elizabeth Fraser or Kennedy.


Alice Watson’s parents were William Nicol (?) Watson, a ‘Music Teacher’ and Elizabeth Blair or Watson. [iii]


According to the Medical register of the United Kingdom in 1903, Dr Charles Kennedy was living at 5 Salisbury Road, Edinburgh. He had first registered on 2 August, 1881 in Scotland and his qualifications were ‘M.B., Mast. Surg. 1881, M.D., 1885, Univ. Edin.” [iv]



The Edinburgh Evening News of Monday 11 May, 1903 reported the following:


“St Andrew’s Ambulance Association



Today an ambulance waggon will be stationed at the corner of St Andrew’s Square and St Andrew Street in charge of the ambulance officer, with a party of stretcher bearers from the Caledonian Railway Prices Street Station Ambulance Corps.


Another ambulance waggon will be stationed at St Patrick Square, under the charge of Dr Charles Kennedy, with a party of stretcher bearers from the Scottish Wholesale Co-operative Society Ambulance Corps.


Tomorrow, an ambulance waggon will be stationed at East Register Street in charge of Dr D. J. Graham with a party of stretcher bearers from the Scottish Wholesale Co-operative Society Ambulance Corps.


There will also be an ambulance waggon at St Patrick Square as on Monday.


On Wednesday, an ambulance waggon will be stationed at corner of St Andrew’s Square and St Andrew Street in charge of ambulance officer with party of certificated ambulance men to act as stretcher bearers. The waggon (with personnel) will be transferred after their Majesties have passed into the castle, to Cluny Gardens, Morningside.


An ambulance waggon will be stationed in Charlotte Square to which will be attached, a party of certificated ambulance men. The waggon will be transferred after their Majesties have passed into the castle, to the west end of Brougham Street, Tollcross.


Dressing stations will be established in the receiving block of Colinton Mains Hospital in charge of Dr Edmund Price, Dr Jackson with a party of stretcher bearers, consisting of members of the

Scottish Wholesale Co-operative Society Ambulance Corps and other certificated ambulance men.


The association will also supply personnel to attend on the City Police waggon under the charge of Drs A. Gordon Price and Edmund Price during Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.” [v]


Dr Charles Kennedy, (50), a Practicing Physician, married to Alice Watson or Kennedy, was found dead at 5 Salisbury Road, Edinburgh on 17 May, 1909. His death was certified by Dr Edmund Frederick Tanney Price (see other 1903 medals to doctors).


The death was registered by his son, William N. W. Kennedy. [vi]


An obituary was published in The Scotsman of Tuesday, 18 May, 1909 as follows; -


“Sudden Death of an Edinburgh Doctor: -Dr Charles Kennedy, 5 Salisbury Road, passed away with startling suddenness.


Apparently in his usual health, he left the house shortly after midnight on Monday with the intention of visiting a patient. He had only gone a step or two from his door when he expired. Death was due to heart failure.


A son of the late David Kennedy, a famous Scottish vocalist who was immensely popular with Kirkcaldy music-lovers, Dr Kennedy inherited in no small degree, the musical qualities which distinguished the family. At private gatherings of friends and others he frequently charmed the company with his novel efforts.


Educated at Edinburgh University, he passed through the Medical school of the City with distinction. He took his degree of M.B., C.M. in 1881and his M.D. four years later when he was a warded a gold medal for his thesis.


Throat disease was a subject to which he devoted special study.


In the South Side of the city, he had a large and increasing practice.


He was held in high esteem by his professional brethren. No further gone than last Saturday, he was elected President of the Southern Branch of the British Medical association.

Having been a Freemason for a number of years, he was well known in Masonic circles.


He was also a popular member of the Pen and Pencil Club,


Dr Kennedy, who was fifty years of age, is survived by a widow and three sons, one of whom is studying for medicine.” [vii]


The final entry concerns Dr Charles Kennedy’s eldest son and was published in The Scotsman of 20 June, 1919: -



Captain (Acting Major) W.N.W. Kennedy, R.A.M.C. (T.F.), who has received the O.B.E. was born in Edinburgh in 1888.


He is the eldest son of the late Charles Kennedy M.D., a well-known general practitioner in the South Side of Edinburgh.


He received his education at George Watson’s College and at the University of Edinburgh and qualified M.B. Ch.B. in 1912, obtaining the Diploma in Public Health in 1914.


In 1912 he was appointed resident medical officer in Edinburgh City Poorhouse.


After studying Public Health in London, he was appointed assistant medical officer of health county borough of Croydon, which appointment he still holds.


He was commissioned in the 1st London Sanitary Company in February 1915, was later appointed specialist sanitary officer 26th Division, and saw service with that unit in both France and Salonika.


Invalided from Salonika in July, 1916, he was appointed specialist sanitary officer for the whole of North Wales, which appointment he held until June, 1918, when he was ordered to proceed with the original Expedition to North Russia as senior sanitary officer and deputy assistant director of medical services (sanitation).


He was invalided home in May of this year after a severe attack of enteric fever.”[viii]


Please contact the website if you can provide any further information on Dr Charles Kennedy and especially if you can provide either an image of him or his 1903 medal. Thank you.





[i] The Police Review and Parade Gossip, Friday, 4 March, 1904, Page 118.

[ii] Statutory Register of Births in the District of St Giles in the City of Edinburgh, 1859, 685/4 534, Page 178.

[iii] Statutory Register of Marriages in the District of St Peter in the Burgh of Dundee, 1885, 282/1 98, Page 49.

[iv] The British Medical Register, 1903, Page 869.

[v] http://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0000452/19030511/083/0003

[vi] Statutory Registers of Death in Newington, Edinburgh, 1909, 685/5 374, Page 125.

[vii] The Scotsman, Tuesday, 18 May, 1909, Page, 4.

[viii] The Scotsman, 20 June, 1919, Page 4.

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