The global career of Major Hingston

Published in 18th–19th - Century History, 20th-century / Contemporary History, Features, Issue 5 (Sept/Oct 2011), Volume 19

R.W.G. Hingston was born in London in 1887 but spent most of his early life in the family home at Horsehead, Passage West, Co. Cork. He was educated at University College Cork, from which he graduated with first-class honours in 1910. He subsequently passed into the Indian medical service. In 1913 he joined the Indo-Russian Pamir triangulation expedition as a surgeon and naturalist. With the outbreak of the Great War in 1914, Hingston was recalled for military service and saw action in East Africa, France, Mesopotamia and the North-West Frontier. He was appointed medical officer and naturalist to the expedition to Mount Everest in 1924. From 1925 to 1927 Hingston acted as surgeon-naturalist to the marine survey of India on HMS Investigator and then, aged 40, retired from the Indian medical service on pension and joined the Oxford University expedition to Greenland. The following year he took part in the Oxford expedition to British Guiana. In 1930 he embarked on a mission conducted by the Society for the Preservation of the Empire Fauna that took him through Rhodesia, Nyasaland, Kenya, Uganda and Tanganyika, investigating methods of preserving the indigenous wildlife. Major Hingston was recalled to military duty in India in 1939 and, after World War II, he retired to his home in County Cork, where he died in 1966.

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