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Alberta, Past and Present, Historical and Biographical
Vol 2
Howard Havelock Hepburn, M. D., C. M.


Dr. Howard H. Hepburn, physician and surgeon of Edmonton, possesses those qualities through which success comes as a natural Sequence, and deep and continued interest in his profession has led to the acquirement of broad knowledge and skill. He was born at Hillview, in the province of Manitoba, in and is a son of William Hepburn, a native of Morewood, Ontario, born in 1857, and married in Rapid City, Manitoba, in 1881, to Miss Margaret McLean, and they now reside in Edmonton.

Howard Havelock Hepburn acquired his early education in the public schools of Manitoba and later attended the Collegiate Institute at Brandon, after which he obtained a teacher's license. He then completed a course in the Regina Normal School, and taking up educational work, he spent two years as a teacher in the public schools of Assiniboia. In the latter part of 1905 he came to Edmonton and soon afterward filed on a homestead forty miles north of the city, intending to teach school in that locality. But the schoolhouse was not erected, and abandoning his claim, Dr. Hepburn returned to Edmonton. In the fall of 1906 he went to Montreal and became a medical student at McGill University, from which he was graduated in 1910, with the degrees of M. D. and C. M. He was then made interne at the Montreal General Hospital and acted in that capacity for nearly three years, when he received an appointment from the Siamese government. He remained in the medical service of that country for about one and a half years, when ill health compelled him to abandon his duties, and while recuperating he visited Egypt, later going to Germany. He took postgraduate courses in Berlin and Heidelberg, specializing in surgery and in the study of the brain and nervous system, and was in Germany's capital when war was declared between that country and the triple entente. He was under police supervision, with other foreigners, for two weeks, when with a companion he escaped to Holland and soon afterward secured passage to England. He was placed in the English secret service, with which he was connected until August 22, 1914, when he was commissioned a lieutenant in the Medical Corps of the Royal Army. He was assigned to Stationary Hospital, No. 12, at Chatham, England, and went with that unit to France, landing at Havre, August 25, 1914. For five years he was in active service and during that period acted in practically every capacity possible to a medical officer in the field. For three years he had charge of the surgical di- vision of a field hospital and in 1917, on the inauguration of the drive for Passchendaele, Dr. Hepburn was wounded and was confined in a hospital in England for about three months. On recovering he returned to France and was detailed to General Hospital No. 4 at Camiers, which was supplied with eighteen hundred beds, and he was later placed in command of the hospital. In 1918 he moved this hospital unit to Dunkirk, France, close to the Belgian front, there remaining until August, 1919, when he received his papers of repatriation and went to England. On September 15, 1919, he sailed from Liverpool for Montreal on the Megantic and came to Edmonton to visit relatives. In the latter part of that month he was demobilized and has since followed his profession uninterruptedly in this city.

Dr. Hepburn has been in many Parts of the world, and being a keen observer and the possessor of a retentive memory, he has gained a wide fund of information. During the period from 1913 until 1919 he visited Japan, China, Assaii, the Straits Settlements, Siam, Ceylon, Egypt, Italy, Monte Carlo, France, Switzerland, Germany, Holland, England, Scotland and Wales. He is a member of the Edmonton Club and the Mayfair Golf and Country Club and in religious faith he is a Presbyterian, while his political support is given to the Liberal party. In 1919 he received a fellowship in the Royal College of Surgery at Edinburgh, Scotland, and in the following year he was made a fellow in the American College of Surgeons. He is secretary of the Alberta Medical Association and is also treasurer of the Edmonton Academy of Medicine, of which he served as secretary in 1921. In July, 1917, Dr. Hepburn received the Military Cross in recognition of his gallant service on the field of battle and loyalty, patriotism and devotion to duty are his outstanding characteristics. Life has brought to him varied experiences, from which he has derived valuable lessons, and wisely utilizing the talents with which nature has endowed him, he has reached a position of distinction in his profession, while his genuine personal worth has won for him the unqualified esteem of all with whom he has been associated.


 


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