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William Thomas Domville CB MD RN (1822-1879)

Domville Point in Wellington Channel in the Arctic is named after William Thomas Domville CB MD RN (1822-1879), who was with HMS Resolute in the Arctic in 1853 when searching for Rear-Admiral Sir John Franklin. (references: (1) 'Personal Narrative of the Discovery of the North-West Passage' by Alexander Armstrong MD RN, 1857, and (2) 'Narrative of a Boat Expedition up the Wellington Channel' by Robert McCormick RN FRCS, 1854.)

Narrative of a Boat Expedition up The Wellington Channel in the Year 1852,
under the Command of R. [Robert] McCormick, R.N., F.R.C.S.,
in H.M.B. "Forlorn Hope," in Search of Sir John Franklin;
with Chart, Illustrations, and Plans of Search
London: Printed by George Edward Eyre and William Spottiswoode, Printers to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty. 1854

Domville Point, sketched by Robert McCormick, R.N., F.R.C.S., named after William Thomas Domville, C.B., M.D., R.N. (1822-1879)
Domville Point, sketched by Robert McCormick, R.N., F.R.C.S.

Tuesday, 31st August [1852].

The morning's dawn brought with it the same kind of weather as yesterday—snow, mist, and fog. Rose at 6.30 A.M. The first fox (Canis lagopus) was seen by the watch last night near the boat; represented to have been of a brown and white colour. I found my aneroid barometer this morning quite useless, having sustained some injury from being thrown on the beach in the clothes-bag in clearing the boat, and into which it had been accidentally put. This was a serious loss to me, as I had intended measuring all the heights with it in returning down channel.

From the Point I took sketches of the two Capes south of the bay, together with the opposite coast of Cornwallis Land.

At 2.45 P.M. having embarked everything, we pulled all round the bay, closely examining its shores, and landing at all remarkable points. At about half a mile from the top got soundings in thirteen fathoms, and within less than a cable's length of the shore the soundings gave four fathoms very regularly. The winter's floe had not yet broken up in a creek at its south-western extremity, and young ice had formed here to the thickness of four inches. This is the only safe and well-sheltered bay along the whole of this coast for anchoring a ship.

Saw several seals, gulls, and dovekies, and shot one of the latter. Landed at a little cove for a few minutes to examine the rocks, and sounded again, still getting four fathoms. At 5.30 P.M. landed near a black cliff in a thick snow storm, and examined a remarkable-looking ravine running up from it.

6.30 P.M.—Had to pull through a quantity of sludge ice round the outer point in clearing the bay. Took a sketch of the headlands and entrance to the bay from the southward. Shot at and struck a seal, but he escaped us. Saw four or five ducks.

At 8.30 P.M. doubled the next cape, to which I gave the name of Toms, after my friend the Assistant Surgeon of the "North Star," an enterprising young officer. At 9.30 P.M. passed the Point where the cylinder and memoranda were found coming up channel, which I called Domville Point, after my friend and brother-officer the Surgeon of the "Resolute." About 10.30 P.M. entered Emery Bay, and encamped on a fine hard shingle ridge.

Published in the Bermuda Commercial and General Advertiser and Recorder, 11 November 1879:

Dr. W. T. Domville, C.B., Inspector General, Haslar Hospital, whose death took place on Tuesday evening, was the fifth son of the late Dr. Jas. Domville, D.I.H., of Greenwich Hospital, and entered the Navy as assistant surgeon in 1842.

In 1857 he was appointed Staff Surgeon of H.M.S. Indus, Admiral Sir Houston Stewart, K.C.B., flagship on the North American and West India Stations, and in 1860 transferred to H.M.S. Nile, flagship on the same station, for service at Bermuda, where he had also medical charge of French invalids from the Mexican expedition, for which service he subsequently received the thanks of the French Emperor and also a case of surgical instruments.

In 1872 he was appointed to the Royal Hospital, Plymouth, and served there until 1875, when he was promoted to the Rank of Inspector-General of Hospitals and Fleets. In November, 1877, he was appointed to the charge of the Royal Hospital, Haslar, where he met his untimely death from disease, it is believed, contracted in the performance of his public duties. He received the Arctic, Crimean and Turkish medals.

He was appointed honorary surgeon to the Queen in 1873, and created a Companion of the Bath in 1877. He attained the rank of Inspector-General of Hospitals and Fleets in 1875, and was the senior officer of that rank. The deceased was brother of Inspector-General H. J. Domville, now on the retired list, who was recently in charge of the Royal Naval Hospital, Stonehouse. – Army and Navy Gazette, October 25.

W.T. Domville M.D.

Surgeon 7 February 1852
Deputy Inspector General 24 June 1866
Inspector General of Hospitals & Fleet 18 February 1875

Born 14 March 1822

Ship Entry Quality Discharge Years Days
Plymouth Hospital 16 May 1842 Assistant Surgeon 3 July 1843 3 360
Eurydice 4 July 1843 Assistant Surgeon 15 April 1846
[?] 16 April 1846 Assistant Surgeon 9 May 1846
Excellent 11 September 1846 Assistant Surgeon 25 February 1847
Greenwich Hospital 10 September 1847 Assistant Surgeon 15 February 1852 4 160
Resolute 16 February 1852 Surgeon 17 October 1854 2 245
Fisgard 25 October 1854 Surgeon 7 July 1855 1 262
Agamemnon 8 July 1855 Surgeon 12 July 1856
Indus 26 November 1856 Surgeon 31 December 1858 6 265
Indus 1 January 1859 Surgeon 16 March 1860
Emerald for Bermuda hospital 17 March 1860 Surgeon 5 June 1860
Nile for Bermuda hospital 6 June 1860 Surgeon 16 August 1863
Nile for Bermuda hospital 17 August 1863 Staff Surgeon 10 March 1864 2 324
Fisgard 11 March 1864 Staff Surgeon 5 July 1866
Malta Hospital 6 July 1866 Deputy Inspector General 28 September 1871 5 86
Royal Adelaide for Stonehouse Hospital 6 July 1872 Deputy Inspector General 11 September 1872
Plymouth Hospital 12 September 1872 Deputy Inspector General 3 May 1875 2 234
Haslar Hospital 13 November 1877 Inspector General 30 September 1879 1 322

32 304

Died on Salary 21st October 1879

The Royal Navy service record was kindly provided by Don Armitage, author of The Voyage of HMS Tortoise to Australia and NZ 1841-3 and other works.

See also:

James Bell Domville MD RN (1778-1846), father of William Thomas Domville CB MD RN (1822-1879)

Henry Jones Domville CB MD JP (1818-1888), brother of William Thomas Domville CB MD RN (1822-1879)

Commanding Officers of the Royal Hospital Haslar (external link), where there is a photograph of William Thomas Domville (second row, second column). Click on the photograph to enlarge it. Click on the back button (←) to return to this page.