Professor Charles Saint came to live on Sark on his retirement in 1960. He was born in Bedlington, Northumberland, on 14th August 1886. He was educated in Morpeth, studied Medicine at the University of Durham and was an outstanding student. He won 15 out of 18 prizes and all of the seven scholarships and honours in the professional examinations. He also won two medals for association football. His teacher, the great Rutherford Morison, referred to him as “one of the most, if not the most distinguished student that has ever been in Newcastle”.
Professor Saint spent much of his time after graduation preparing Morison’s work for publication including ‘An Introduction to Surgery’ which later became the basis of the teaching of surgial practice throughout the British Empire. In 1912 he obtained his M.D., M.S. and in 1913 became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England.
He joined the Royal Army Medical Corps in 1914 and was drafted to France. For his military work he was awarded the C.B.E. and the French Government decorated him with the Medaille d’Honneur in Gold.
After the war he set up a surgical school in South Africa and became Professor of Surgery and administrative head of the surgical division at the New Somerset Hospital which became the famous Groote Schuur, Cape Town, in 1937.
Professor Saint found Sark as a result of a summer holiday and it was a place which particulaly attracted his wife.
The Medical Trust
The Professor Charles Saint Medical Trust (also known as the PSF or ‘Professor Saint Fund’) began in 1973 when Professor Saint made a bequest to the island to be used for medical assistance and to subsidise the cost of medications dispensed on the island for residents. It is a sign of his own affection for and interest in the island that he should, on his death 13 years after he came to live here, make such a gift to the island.
Although when the gift was made, this was more than enough to meet the island’s needs, the severe inflation in the 1970s placed this benefit in jeopardy. Since then the islanders have worked hard to ensure that the service continues by holding a great many fund-raising activities each year. Every year the Trust is also helped greatly by individual bequests and gifts which enable the Trust to keep pace with the ever increasing cost of medications to the benefit of all who live on Sark. If you would like to donate to the Trust, you can send a cheque payable to the Professor Charles Saint Medical Trust, care of The Medical Centre, Sark, Channel Islands GY10 1SF. We will forward this to the secretary who administers the fund.