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The father of tropical medicine – Sir Patrick Manson 1844-1922 – 21 Queen Anne Street Marylebone

March 4, 2021

One of our most interesting and challenging assignments is based in Marylebone on behalf of the Howard de Walden Estate. The teams are tasked with providing street-based security and support services to all tenants and visitors to the area. These include medical facilities on Harley street, a diverse range of retailers on Marylebone High Street and an enviable selection of restaurants on Marylebone Lane. The teams are also there to respond to concerns of residents who call the area home.

Our teams have seen an increase in work load and a changing dynamic during the pandemic, their essential work has been key to supporting all estate users in a way that is beyond simply security. These duties include working with outreach teams to identify and contact rough sleepers to producing detailed vacant property inspections (VPI’s) for buildings temporally closed, giving those working remotely on the ground information quickly for a wide range of scenarios.

Whilst visiting the team it is easy to be intrigued by a great number of blue plaques that dot many of the buildings. One of these plaques is found on 21 Queen Anne Street in memory of a distant cousin of the explorer David Livingstone; Sir Patrick Manson. Born in Scotland, he proved to be gifted, not only at his academic studies but a great number of sports; perhaps most unusually for a Scotsman, even cricket. His ability academically was extraordinary, when he passed his medical degree aged 19, he was still too young to formally graduate.

On graduation he worked for a short time in Durham before moving to Taiwan. This was the start of his world changing research into tropical medicine, the effects of which are still with us today.

After his time in Taiwan, he moved to Amoy on the Chinese coast, where he became fully fluent in Mandarin and began his research into malaria. This is where he made his world changing discovery by identifying the link between malaria and mosquitos.

In 1889 he returned to the UK and took up residence at 21 Queen Anne Street and where his work continued. Joining the royal collage of physicians and becoming a chief medical officer on tropical illnesses to the government, he was also Instrumental in the foundation of The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.

This remarkable organisation which he helped create is today providing research, information and on the ground action in the global struggle against COVID19.

Sir Patrick Manson saved countless lives in his own life time, as a result of his research into malaria the numbers of lives saved is countless millions and now nearly 100 years since his death his legacy continues to save many more.

Sir Patrick’s work resonated with us. While Gallowglass Security cannot offer medical expertise, we do support those that can; whether this be supporting the GLA and housing the homeless, working to protect the test facility in Brockwell Park, ensuring the hotels hosting returning travellers are kept safe, or providing expert health and safety advice to up-and-coming events organisations, we are dedicated to helping others, just like Sir Patrick Manson.