"THE Emperor of Japan had performed a most graceful act on conferring the order of the Rising Sun on Dr Joseph Bower Siddall MD, CM Aberd., MRCS, LSA, DPH Camb., formerly of St Thomas's Hospital, and now residing at Oriel House, Malvern," reported the Gazette 100 years ago.

"It is generally assumed that the Japanese are indebted to German professors for the foundation of the high skill thy have acquired in medical and surgical science.

"But before the first German teachers arrived in Japan, a great hospital had been organised in Tokyo, and a teaching school started by two British medical men, the late Dr William Willis and Dr J B Siddall, each of whom had been medical officer of HM Legation in Japan and rendered the most valuable services in ministering to the Japanese wounded in the revolutionary war.

"The Emperor of Japan has sent the decoration to Dr Siddall direct, through his Ambassador in London, which we are sure will be highly appreciated as a compliment to the medical profession in England.

"The Rising Sun holds the same place in Japan as the Bath does with us, the highest honour that can be bestowed on subjects not of noble birth, for public services, and Dr Siddall is, we believe, the only member of the profession in England who holds a Japanese decoration of any order or degree."