Gervase Minto Grey born at Milfield on Tuesday 25 November 1890 christened in the house by Rev M Piddock vicar of Kirknewton. Died at Kampla Uganda from an accident May 29 1927 and was buried there.

From family bible inscribed on front page “ To George and Christian Grey with affectionate regards and best wishes for their happiness from George Butler, Principal of Liverpool College 29 April 1878"


Sent in by Dr Peacock Jinja                                                       Capt Cormack

C.M.S. MENGO HOSPITAL   Village 117

A.W.M.H WARD                        Dr R.Y Stones                                                37x16-----592.00
                                                No 3   Bed No 54                                    R.P.            -----84.00
                                                                                                            X ray            ------42.00
Name:  G. M. Grey                                                                                    -----768.00/-
Date of Admittance: April 22 1927    Disease: T.B. Abscess.  Heart Failure
Religion:  C. of E.                                    Result: Death 6.30 am May 29/1927
                                                            Age 37 yrs

History of Present Illness:                       

Six weeks ago drove a lorry into a game pit went headlong climbed out.  4 days afterwards got pain in R hip and groin.  Saw Dr Peacock told to rest it. Improved. Later (4 days) waded into water at work.  Second night later had very severe shooting pains down leg.  Next day drove into Jinja, saw Dr told to go and rest it as no p.s.  Same evening had to have a morphia injection.  Went into hospital.  Much improved in hospital.  Was in Hospital 5 weeks having various tests but last three days the pain has become worse again.

Fever was present more or less all the time.
Widal reaction done negative.  (Test for typhoid and paratyphoid)
Malta fever negative.  (Test for Brucellosis)
Has had boils since Feb. Two on arms only.
14 years in country.  Has only had fever.  Suffers from indigestion.
Continual sickness with fever.  No operation.
Last attack was 6 or 7 yrs ago.
Two children both healthy.
No family history of any disease.
No venereal taint.

Had retention of urine for four days or so at beginning of illness.  No similar trouble since.
No cough. No trouble with urine before illness began.

Not anaemic.
Tongue raw, moist, furred in patches.
Teeth septic.  Heart, chest clear.
Abdomen clear.  Spleen and liver not + (enlarged)

R hip kept at < of 140°.  Not able to be moved.
R thigh shows 1 inch wasting.  R calf not wasted.
KJs (knee jerks) < on both sides, AJs  (ankle jerks) present.
Back clear, pelvis clear.


PR   Nil abnormal found, prostate not enlarged, not vesicular.
        Pelvis interior normal.

Urine 1010 alk. deposit of urates, no alb, no sugar


Blood examination    increased leucocytosis of large lymphocytes,
No marked increase in polymorphs.
Differential %   Polys 77%,   23% leukocytes

X-ray R hip joint blurred outline.
4 Plates taken, all spoiled on account of age of negative

Hip joint does not appear to be distended but there is slight adenitis in the groin.  Movement outwards causes most pain.
No hyperaesthesia of calf or thigh.
History of ‘starting’ pains in joint.   Says occurs when is going off to sleep.  Sts wake him up.

Inj Morph mx nocte                                                            Rx Acid HCN dil ..
Mist Hexamine 3 tds                                                            Mist Bism adj
Extr. Malt with Ol Morph 3 tds                                                3 tds

24. IV             Seen by Captain Cormack
Suggests ac TB hip
No question of enteric or malta fever.

Liq paraffin 3 ? nocte

1.V.27  Mist Q with C 3 bds

 5.V            Differential count Polymorphs 79% Lymphocytes

Examination by Capt Cormack
PR nil abnormal.
Considers the case is one of ac TB hip.
X ray necessary to diagnose from osteo-myelitis.

9.V            X ray negative  shows head of bone partially absorbed, hazy outline
No sequestrum in bone; no periostitis seen around greater trochanter or neck of bone.

13.V            Prickly heat rash
            Hot.   Calamine prn

15.V            Elixir Casc. Sagr 3 mane et nocte

28. IV            Mist Sennae Co. 3 bds

19.V            Liq. Paraffin 3 mane rep prn

26 .V            T° still septic.
Skin over femoral region has become reddish blue and is thinned and oedematous

27.V            White cell count = 32,500
            Differential ct. Polys 78.5% Large
            Lymphocytes 21.5%

28.v            Operation CHCl3  (Chloroform)
Incision over joint 1in below A.S.S. and internal to A.S.S. (Anterior superior iliac spine)
            Pus found under subcutaneous tissue
V large abscess cavity around neck of joint.  A pint of pus evacuated.
Pus examined by Dr Downes.Shaw
large diplococci and short chains of streptocci found.

Iodoform emulsion inserted and wound sewn up without drainage.
Pt comfortable T° 103  P 140 slight vomiting
Inj Morph mx nocte.   Taken junket

29.v.            Pt had good night. Had tea at 6.15am  complained of thirst.  Said was cold and suddenly collapsed and died


Notes in another volume of case notes

Inj Grey Gervase
Apl 19              mvc
April 26           mvc
May 3              mvc
May 10            mvc

Thanks to Frances Cumming for most of this information and for many of these documents and photographs.
Above: From an undated photograph of a curling match in St Moritz with his father George and his brother Eric Ida.
Above: Christian Grey 1924, a photograph sent home to Milfield.
He was the seventh and last child of George and Christian Grey.

Gervase Minto Grey: Timber merchant and Planter at BUKABOLI ESTATES UGANDA

Born 25 November 1890 at Milfield

Married Ruth Frances Gordon in Uganda on 11 Aug 1917.

Died on 29 May 1927 in Kampala Uganda at the age of 36.

Gervase can be found on a ship's passenger list going to Uganda from London. Departure date: 5 May 1922, London to Mombasa, Kenya. He described himself as planter. He was with his wife Mrs. Ruth Frances and daughter Christian Ruth. Ruth can be found returning to England with the children in a boat from Cape Town in 12 March 1927, just months before Gervase died on 29 May.

Above: Gervase's death notice, from the Uganda Herald. The family story at Milfield was that he had died falling into an elephant trap. The medical records show that he drove his lorry into a game pit. His probate record in 1927 recorded that he died at Namirembe Hospital Uganda, leaving £173. 18s 4d.

Gervase at Milfield sitting on the ground at the front of the group who may be his brothers. His sister Freddie is on the left. The next oldest was Boyd who may be the one looking down, next oldest would be Eric who could be the one on the right and the next oldest would be Ivar, who may be holding the dog. Ivar has a moustache that turns down in photos while Jock the oldest, waxed his and curled it up at the ends.
An advertisement for Gervase and his brother Boyd's timber business from the Uganda Herald.
Above: Gervase in Uganda in December 1912, and right in his and Ruth's house at Bukaboli.
" Ruth’s father was the Rev Edward Gordon. Ruth was born in 1881. She was very good artist and studied at the Slade art school. Her oldest half-brother Rev Edward Cyril Gordon had gone to British East Africa with Bishop Hannington and spent many years as a missionary there. Ruth trained as a nurse at Norfolk and Norwich Hospital and went to work at the CMS hospital at Toro. It is now on the border of Uganda and Congo and must have been very remote. She travelled there by bullock wagon. The photos are of the staff at the Toro mission and on the steps of the hospital with the native nurses and orderlies that Ruth trained. Ruth is standing at the back right in both photos. The doctor on the steps is Dr Bond."
Gervase and Ruth's original marriage certificate from Entebbe church. 11 August 1917. They were married by Ruth’s cousin James Hannington.

Anna Minto Grey married Lieut Richard Hansen (Tony) in Kensington in 1948. She died in Kent in 2001.

Above: Gervase and Ruth at Bukaboli. Right: Ruth with Christian who was born on 6 September 1921. Below: Their Ugandan passport issued in Entebbe on 17 October 1921. Gervase is described as 6 foot 3 and half inches tall, broad forehead, blue eyes, long nose, small mouth, brown hair, long face, tropical complexion and a scar over his right eye.


Gervase’s grave at the European cemetery in Kampala. The cross and stones are no longer there. In 2012 only the approximate area could be located.

Christian married Denis Arthur Cumming, who was an engineer, in Leeds in January 1947 while there was still rationing so she did not have a white wedding dress. She was a medical student at Leeds University at the time of her marriage. She completed her final exams just before the birth of her first child.

They are flanked by Anna and Tony (Richard) Hansen who Anna later married. In the lower picture Denis’s stepmother Margaret Mary and his half sister Janet and half brother Duncan are on the left, Anna and Tony either side and Denis’s older brother Paul Cumming on the far right. Christian and Denis emigrated to Australia in 1950. They had four children, the two oldest born in London and two in Australia. He died in 1995.

Right: Gervase in photographs dated 1910 at the age of 20. The photographer was James Bacon and Sons who worked at 81 Northumberland St., Newcastle upon Tyne.
Right: Three brothers in a library. Gervase is on the left. They are all dressed very formerly as if for dinner. Perhaps it is Gervase, Boyd and Eric? The man on the right looks more like Boyd from other pictures we have of him, his hair is a bit thicker, which may mean that it is Eric in the centre.
Cutting down timber for the saw mill, sawing up the log for railway sleepers and the sleepers ready for transport to the port on Lake Victoria.
Below:Gervase’s medical records from Namirembe hospital in Kampala. Right: a transcription by Frances Cumming.
When Gervase became ill he was referred by Dr Peacock in Jinja to the doctors at Namirembe hospital in Kampala. Left: A transcription of the original letter with additions in italics by Frances Cumming.

"Memo from the Senior Medical Officer Jinja 21/4/1927

Dear Dr Stones, I am sending you Mr Grey of Iganga. He first complained of sciatica but had a temperature and as he had already taken quinine, I did not take a blood slide but thought it was probably due to malaria. As the fever continued and he had a coated tongue and gastric trouble followed by retention of urine and neuritis of the ant ?evural and obturator nerves, I sent his blood to Entebbe for a Widal – this however was negative. (Test for typhoid and paratyphoid fever) I have sent a further supply for culture (as he has had a history of boils) and also to test for undulant fever. (Brucellosis) Now however the pain appears to have centred in his right hip joint and the tongue has cleared. I can make nothing of his case and should be grateful for any suggestions or if you think advisable – treat him yourself. It had occurred to me that there might be TB of the hip joint but this does not cover the other symptoms. An X-ray might help. If you consider surgical intervention necessary I should be glad if you would undertake it as we are badly equipped and staffed here. I expect a reply from Entebbe in a few days and will let you know the result.

Yours sincerely, Dr W Peacock 22.4.27 I have just had a message from Entebbe that cultures were negative. WP"