Cecil Lucius STRANGMAN

STRANGMAN, Cecil Lucius

Service Numbers: Not yet discovered
Enlisted: Not yet discovered
Last Rank: Major
Last Unit: 3rd Infantry Battalion
Born: Lissclan, County Waterford, Ireland, 1 August 1867
Home Town: Not yet discovered
Schooling: Dublin University
Occupation: Medical Practitioner
Died: South Australia, 21 April 1942, aged 74 years, cause of death not yet discovered
Cemetery: Not yet discovered
Memorials: Adelaide Grand Masonic Lodge WW1 Honour Board
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World War 1 Service

28 Nov 1914: Involvement Major, 3rd Infantry Battalion
28 Nov 1914: Embarked Major, 3rd Infantry Battalion, SS Eastern, Sydney

Help us honour Cecil Lucius Strangman's service by contributing information, stories, and images so that they can be preserved for future generations.

Biography contributed by Annette Summers



Cecil Lucius Strangman was born on the 1st August 1867 at Lissclan, near Tranmere, County Waterford, Ireland. He was the fourth son of the nine children of Thomas Strangman and wife Sarah White, nee Hawkes. Strangman graduated in medicine and surgery in Dublin in 1888; a brother and two sisters also became doctors.  He began his career as a ship’s surgeon which brought him to Port Adelaide in South Australia on the SS State of Georgia. He was registered as a medical practitioner in South Australia on the 7th August 1890.  Here he worked at Port Lincoln, Carrieton, and Orroroo. Strangman met and married Edith Adelaide Moody in Orroroo in 1894 and stayed there for 16 years, then moved on to Port Darwin in 1907 as Medical Officer for the Northern Territory and the Protector of Aborigines. He attended post graduate study in London in 1909 and 1912 and obtained the Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.  He returned to Darwin, but by 1914, disagreed with the policies of the Administrator of the Northern Territory who abolished the Central Board of Health. Strangman resigned from his position. He had shown great empathy with the Chinese community whilst in Darwin and when he left, they presented him with a testimonial banner which was in the possession of the District Council of Waikerie, South Australia.  He and his family returned to Cheltenham St, Malvern, South Australia in September 1913.

Strangman enlisted as a major in the AAMC on 22nd October 1914 as he had previous military experience with the SA Mounted Rifles, the 17 LH and 4 FdAmb. He was 47 years old, 5ft 10ins, and weighed 13st. In view of his expertise in tropical medicine, he was transferred to the AN&MEF which occupied the German Territories in the Pacific.  He arrived in Rabaul in December 1914 during the wet season and malaria spread rapidly. He was made PMO and promoted to brevet colonel. His expertise in tropical medicine was invaluable and he remained in Rabaul until he took leave to return to Australia in 1917.  He was returning from Sydney in the Burns Philp, Matunga, when, on the 6th August 1917, she was captured by the German raider Wolf.  Nothing was known of the ship, its passengers or crew for five months as the Wolf roamed and caused havoc in the Indo-Pacific and Atlantic oceans with up to 200 prisoners on board. Also on board was John Wellesley Flood. Later, some prisoners, including Strangman and Flood, were transferred to another ship, a captured Spanish collier, which, whilst travelling north to Germany, on the 23rd February 1918, ran aground on the Danish coast near Skegen. The Danish authorities insisted on the release of the prisoners who reached London via Norway and the Shetland Islands on 10th March 1918. After release Strangman was in poor health and spent some time in the 3rd London General Hospital while his family resided in Ireland. He returned to Australia in December 1918 with his Service terminated in February 1919. He was issued with the British War Medal.

Strangman, using his newly acquired knowledge from courses in London, during recuperation from captivity, undertook the management of shell shocked soldiers by psychotherapy in major Australian Military Hospitals for the next 2 years. He settled in Glenelg in medical practice later retiring to the Adelaide Hills. Cecil Lucius Strangman died at Stirling West on 21st April 1942 and was cremated. He was survived by his wife and son John Handcock Strangeman.


Blood, Sweat and Fears: Medical Practitioners and Medical Students of South Australia, who Served in World War 1. 

Verco, Summers, Swain, Jelly. Open Books Howden, Adelaide 2014. 

Uploaded by Annette Summers AO RFD