Dr Thomas Stratton came to Medway from Montreal, Canada in August 1849.

He was appointed surgeon to the Royal Navy ship, Poictiers which was based at Chatham. His role was to assist with the cholera outbreak in the town.

Dr. Stratton remained in the Medway Towns from 15 August to 2 November 1849.

He drafted a report and map of the cholera outbreak in the area. It was published a year after his return to Canada.

It is a fascinating document which gives us a great insight into the outbreak in the Medway Towns.

Dr. Stratton noted 167 deaths due to cholera were officially recorded. He believed an extra 20 deaths also bore the symptoms of cholera.

Statistics of 1849 Cholera outbreak

Place Description Duration of outbreak Total number of deaths Male Female
Strood District Includes Strood, Cliffe and Frindsbury Parishes 13 weeks 41 22 19
Rochester District Includes City of Rochester and Chatham Intra with Fort Pitt hospital 10 weeks 49 27 22
Gillingham District Include the village, New Brompton, Brompton, Luton and Chatham with the dockyard and all the army barracks 9 weeks 77 47 36

Table reference: Dr Thomas Stratton.  Reproduced with permission of Donna Gagnon, WeGoBack family history research, Ontario, Canada

The original report is in the Wellcome Library and is available to browse online. You can also request a copy from Medway Archives Centre.