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Major-General Sir Ralph Bignell Ainsworth, CB DSO OBE KStJ (20 September 1875 – 27 January 1952)[1] was a British physician, surgeon, and British Army officer. From 1930 to 1935, he was Commandant of the Royal Army Medical College. During World War II, he served as Director of Medical Services of the Joint War Organization (formed by the British Red Cross Society and the Order of St John).[2][3]

Military career

Ainsworth began his military career in the Royal Navy. On 26 February 1900, he was appointed a surgeon in the Navy Medical Service.[4] In 1902, he transferred to the Royal Army Medical Corps, British Army.[2]

Honours and decorations

On 1 January 1916, Ainsworth was awarded the Distinguished Service Order (DSO) "for distinguished service in the Field".[5][6] In January 1919, he was awarded the Médaille des Epidémies (en Vermeil) by the President of the French Republic "for distinguished services rendered during the course of the campaign".[7]

In the 1923 King's Birthday Honours, Ainsworth was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).[8] In June 1934, he was appointed an Officer of the Venerable Order of St John (OStJ).[9] In the 1935 King's Birthday Honours, he was appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath (CB) in recognition of his service as Commandant of the Royal Army Medical College.[10] In December 1941, he was promoted to Commander of the Venerable Order of St John (CStJ).[11]

In the 1946 New Year Honours, Ainsworth was appointed a Knight Bachelor (Kt) in recognition of his role as Director of Medical Services of the Joint War Organization.[12] On 12 March 1946, he was knighted by King George VI during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace.[13] On 23 December 1946, he was promoted to Knight of the Venerable Order of St John (KStJ).[14]

Personal life

He married Florence, only daughter of the late Imre Kiralf of Washington Square, New York, and they had two daughters.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 Who's Who on line accessed 11 November 2015
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Obituary: Sir Ralph Bignell Ainsworth" (pdf). 9 February 1952. pp. 331–332. Digital object identifier:10.1136/bmj.1.4753.331. PMC 2022759. PMID 14896136. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  3. "Obituary: Sir Ralph Bignell Ainsworth". March 1952. p. 107. Digital object identifier:10.1016/S0033-3506(51)80124-0. 
  4. "No. 27171". 6 March 1900. p. 1523. 
  5. "No. 29438". 11 January 1916. pp. 568–571. 
  6. "War Office". The Edinburgh Gazette. 17 January 1916. pp. 86–89. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  7. "Decorations conferred by the President of the French Republic". The Edinburgh Gazette. 31 January 1919. pp. 559–569. Retrieved 11 November 2015. 
  8. "Birthday Honours". 9 June 1923. p. 987. JSTOR 20423693. 
  9. "No. 34064". 26 June 1934. pp. 4057–4058. 
  10. "Birthday And Jubilee Honours". 8 June 1935. p. 1186. JSTOR 25344440. 
  11. "No. 35403". 2 January 1942. pp. 82–83. 
  12. "No. 37407". 28 December 1945. p. 2. 
  13. "No. 37502". 15 March 1946. p. 1387. 
  14. "No. 37842". 3 January 1947. p. 122. 

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