Awards & Titles:

Member of the Royal College of Surgeons

Early Life :

Surgeon Major James Balfour Cockburn was the son of James Cockburn and Mary Louisa Corbin. He obtained the Diploma of Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons 2nd May, 1851 and his Diploma in Midwifery 18th January, 1854. He was also a Licentiate of the Society of Apothecaries.

His portrait image is an extract of a photograph from the Archives of the Army Medical Service, whilst he was serving attached to the Royal Engineers.

Service Life:


Unit / Ship / Est.:  

Action : War Survivor 

Although many perished in times of national conflict and in the service of their country, many more survived including those interned as Prisoners of War. Stories of those who did survive are included as part of this site, especially those with high gallantry awards, those included against an external rolls of honour and those who had a distinguished career in wartime and military leaderhip.

Appeared as a witness at the Old Bailey:
"JAMES BALFOUR COCKBURN , M. D. The deceased Major de Vere was under my care from nine o'clook in the evening of the day he was wounded to the time of his death—I attended him for a gunshot wound in the chest—he died on Tuesday night, 22d August—I made a post-mortem examination of the body—I found that a bullet had entered the hack of the chest, between the fifth and sixth ribs—it had penetrated completely through the left lung, and escaped between the fourth and fifth ribs anteriorly, smashing the fifth rib in its passage through—the cause of death was inflammation of the lung, resulting from the wound caused by the bullet in its passage through the chest—the rest of the organs of the body were perfectly healthy."

Detail :

The British Medical Journal 22nd June, 1907:
Brigade-Surgeon James Balfour Cockburn, M.D., Brigade-Surgeon JAMES BALFOUR COCKBURN, M.D.,
Army Medical Service (retired), died at Elm House, Guernsey, on June 1st. He entered the service as Assistant Surgeon, March 3rd, 1854; became- Surgeon, January 8th, 1864; Surgeon-Major, March 1st, 1873; and Honorary Brigade-Surgeon on retirement, April 5th, 1882. He served in the Crimean campaign in 1854 6, and took part in the expedition to Kertch and Yenikali, and in the siege of Sebastopol. for which he had received a medal with clasp and the Turkish medal."

His death was also reported in the Pontypool Free Press 14th June, 1907: "CRIMEAN VETERAN DEAD. The death occurred on Monday of Brigade Surgeon James Balfour Cockbur, First Provincial Grand Master of the Freemasons of the Guernsey and Alderney district. The deceased gentle man, who was in his seventy-eighth year, served in the Crimean War in 1854-5, including the expedition to Kertch, and Yenikali, and was present at the siege of Sebastapol."

Masonic :

TypeLodge Name and No.Province/District :
Mother : A Scottish Lodge No. 0 S.C.Scottish Constitution
Joined : Aldershot Camp No. 1331 E.C. Hampshire & IOW
Joined : Bangalore Lodge No. 1043 E.C. Madras
Joined : Doyle's Lodge of Fellowship No. 84 E.C. Guernsey & Alderney
Joined : St Sampson's No. 2598 E.C. Guernsey & Alderney
Joined : Royal Lodge of Friendship No. 278 E.C. Gibraltar
Joined : Shadwell Clerke No. 1910 E.C. London
Joined : Mariners' No. 168 E.C. Guernsey & Alderney

10th July 1867
2nd March 1869
2nd March 1869

James entered the English Constitution from the Scottish (Lodge 145) in 1867. He initially joined Pentangle Lodge, Chatham before joining Friendship Lodge at Gibraltar 2nd March, 1869. It is clear that as part of his military movements he joins lodges where he is posted. He is see joining Aldershot Camp Lodge in 1873 and Bangalore Lodge in 1877. Back in Guernsey, he joined Mariners, St Sampson's and Doyle's Lodge of Fellowship. He joined the eponymous Lodge as its first Worshipful Master at its consecration, 9th May, 1900.

On the 9th April, 1894 he was appointed the first Right Worshipful Provincial Grand Master for the Masonic Province of Guernsey & Alderney.

Source :

The project globally acknowledges the following as sources of information for research across the whole database:

Additional Source:

Last Updated: 2021-02-20 09:27:03