Official Website of CSI Parish Kattakada, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala

Official Website of CSI Parish Kattakada, Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala
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Dr. Theodore Howard Somervell OBE, FRCS

Theodore Howard Somervell OBE, FRCS (16 April 1890 – 23 January 1975) was a British missionary who lived in India. He was a surgeon, painter and mountaineer as well. He was awarded a n Olympic Gold medal for his achievements in mountaineering. His life and sacrifices continue to inspire generations to come. Somervell Memorial CSI Medical College, Karakonam in Trivandrum District is dedicated to his memory.Dr. Theodore Howard Somervell

Somervell was born to a well off family in England. His parents owned a shoe manufacturing unit. In early childhood itself, he evinced interest in rock climbing and rugby football. He did his college studies at Gonville & Caius College, Cambridge. During his college days, his faith in Christ became strong. Having obtained a first class degree in Natural Science, he went on to attend training as a surgeon at University College Hospital.
When the World War I (1914-1918) broke out, Somervell’s studies were interrupted. Conscription (compulsory military service) was introduced in Britain. So, he had to serve in the Royal Army Medical Corps in France as a lieutenant. This had a profound influence on him. He started to hate war, as he viewed it as killing of man by man for power and territory. Meanwhile, he was impressed by the discipline of the soldiers. He had to treat hundreds of dying men. Only four doctors were there to attend them. Delay in performing surgeries would cause death or permanent disability. But he noticed that even while waiting for their turn to get treatment, no soldier asked to be treated ahead of others. The experience turned Somervell into a calm individual, a quality he continued to hold for the rest of his life. He relinquished his commission in 1921, by which time he held the rank of a captain. He went back to his medical studies and completed in shortly.
Somervell developed a close relationship with George Mallory, a famous mountaineer. Mallory planned to climb Mount Everest and thus, Somervell also became a part of the British Everest expedition team. In 1922, they began their expedition. During this expedition, Mallory took several famous works of William Shakespeare along with him. Somervell and Malory read Shakespeare to one another in their tent at night. This developed an interest in him for literature. Thereafter, he remained a avid reader.