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Herbert Rowse Bastard


He was born in 1884 on the northern edge of Bodmin Moor Cornwall to farming parents. His father Samuel had been orphaned when both his parents died on the same day when he was only a week old.


He trained at Guy’s hospital in London where he qualified in 1912.  He worked there and at The Soho Hospital for Women.


1914 was a whirlwind year for him. He was working for the Orient Line as a ship’s surgeon on RMS Otway, which took about 1,000 immigrants on each outward journey to Australia. His second trip to Brisbane that year left London on 31 July; five days later Britain declared war against Germany. By then the Otway had berthed in Gibraltar and its stay there was prolonged by four days as there were enemy ships in the Mediterranean. Its delayed arrival in Brisbane was on 18 September and it turned around for London the next day.

One of the passangers on the Otway was a Miss Chérie Overell, aged 28. Her father was a prosperous draper owning shops in Brisbane. It had been announced in the local gossip columns that Chérie was going to vist her father who was in London, and other friends, on an extended visit.