Papers of Dr Honoria Somerville Keer, 1883-1969, medical graduate, University of Glasgow, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Personal papers, including a bible, correspondence, diaries, passport and certificates 1885-1968;
  • Education materials, including exam papers and certificates 1903-1924;
  • Correspondence relating to Dr Keer's career in Europe and Africa 1916-1940;
  • Family material, including family trees 1842-1930;
  • Photographs 1866-1963.

Administrative / Biographical History

Honoria Somerville Keer was born on 26th December  1883  in Toronto, daughter of Eliza Somerville and Jonathan Keer. She attended the  University of Glasgow , Scotland, where she graduated MB ChB in  1910  . Initially, she practised medicine in Hamilton, but on the outbreak of war, volunteered for service under the Scottish Women's Hospital. From May 1915 to February 1918, she acted as assistant Medical Officer in the Girton and Newnham unit of the hospitals, first in France, then in Salonica, and in April 1918, was appointed chief Medical Officer of the unit in Corsica for the medical care of Serbian refugees, where she gave valuable service. During her time in Europe, Dr Keer was awarded the Croix de Guerre and the Medailles des Epidemies by the French Government. From the King of the Serbs she received the Order of St. Sava.

Following her sterling work in the First World War, and having first taken the Diploma in Tropical Medicine and Hygiene in London, Dr Keer was accepted for government service as Lady Medical Officer in Nigeria. She was posted to the African Hospital Lagos and worked at the Massey Street Dispensary until 1931. Sadly, her medical career was curtailed by illness and debilitating deafness. She retired in 1934 on health grounds. Dr Keer died on 20 March  1969  .


Records have been arranged chronologically within the record class.

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Acquisition Information

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Conditions Governing Use

No restrictions for private non-commercial use

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Custodial History

Held by Glasgow University Archives Services but no deposit file available


None expected

Related Material

Biography can be found at  Roll of Honour  website:

Location of Originals

Glasgow University Archives Services

Additional Information

Description compiled in line with the following international standards:  International Council on Archives,ISAD(G) Second Edition, September 1999 and  National Council on Archives,Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names

Fonds level description compiled by Elva McLean, student, 11 November 2005. Lower level description compiled by Elva McLean, student, 16 November 2005

Amended by Emma Yan, Archive Assistant, 30 August 2007. Amended by Helen Cannings, Archive Assistant, January 2009. Amended by Sam Maddra, Assistant Archivist (catalouing), 20 January 2014.