Archifdy Ceredigion Archives
CDC/MOH Cardiganshire Medical Officer of Health

Acc. Various accessions


TITLE: Papers of the Cardiganshire Medical Officer of Health
DATE(S): 1877-1995
LEVEL: Fonds
EXTENT: 30 series

The collection provides detailed information on the role of the Cardiganshire Medical Officer of Health and the services provided by the Health Department of Cardiganshire County Council. The papers include correspondence, reports, medical records, statistics, lectures, circulars and annual reports.

The collection consists of extensive correspondence and papers of Dr Ernest Jones who worked as
County Medical Officer of Health and School Medical Officer from the mid 1920s to his retirement in 1956. These include lectures he gave to the local community to raise awareness of issues relating to health, diet and sanitation. In addition there are files of correspondence of his successor Dr Iestyn Morgan Watkin who continued to develop and modernise health services across the county.

The collection contains a large series of papers relating to the treatment of tuberculosis which was prevalent in Wales, leading to the Committee of Inquiry into the Anti-Tuberculosis Service in Wales and Monmouthshire. The Committee was established to investigate ‘the working arrangements for the prevention, treatment and aftercare of tuberculosis’. Through reports and newspaper articles Ernest Jones raised awareness of the conditions leading to the increase of cases including the impact of lead mines, overcrowded housing and poor nutrition.

The papers relating to Air Raid Precautions and the Emergency Medical Service provide detailed information about local organisation and the influence of national events and regulations. Ernest Jones organised medical inspections of evacuee school children arriving from Liverpool and emergency maternity care including the temporary transfer of a maternity home from London to the Queen’s Hotel in Aberystwyth.

Further papers relate to the establishment of the County Maternity Home and the training of midwives, district nurses and health visitors. There was an increasing emphasis on welfare and mental health services demonstrated by extensive minutes of committees relating to institutions and homes.


N.B. The complete reference number for the collection is CDC/MOH as it forms part of the records of Cardiganshire County Council. For convenience the references used in the catalogue entries begin MOH.

The collection is arranged into the following series:

MOH/1: Annual reports
MOH/2: Tuberculosis
MOH/3: Second World War
MOH/4: School Medical Officer
MOH/5: County Maternity Home
MOH/6: Maternity and child welfare
MOH/7: District nursing
MOH/8: Maternity and child welfare clinics
MOH/9: Welfare services
MOH/10: Public Assistance
MOH/11: Welfare services for the blind
MOH/12: Infectious diseases
MOH/13: Water supplies
MOH/14: Sewerage schemes
MOH/15: Welsh Board of Health
MOH/16: County Ambulance Service
MOH/17: Health Visiting
MOH/18: Home Help
MOH/19: Milk accreditation and testing
MOH/20: Minutes and papers of Health Department
MOH/21: Borough and district minutes
MOH/22: Housing and sanitation
MOH/23: Medical returns and statistics
MOH/24: South Wales and Monmouthshire Joint Cancer Committee
MOH/25: Correspondence
MOH/26: County Accountant
MOH/27: County Treasurer
MOH/28: Lectures of Ernest Jones
MOH/29: Mental Deficiency Act
MOH/30: Additional papers


The anglicized spellings of place names are used in the catalogue if that is how they appear in the original documents.


Medical Officers of Health (MOH) were appointed to oversee public health in their county or borough, and also held the post of School Medical Officer. The work of the Cardiganshire Medical Officer of Health was supported by the Inspector of Midwives and Superintendent Health Visitor and there were a number of district medical officers and sanitary inspectors working across the county.

The MOH recorded statistical information about births, deaths and diseases and worked to improve public health provision and living conditions in relation to sanitation, clean water supplies, nutrition and housing.

The papers record the development of health care services in Cardiganshire such as the introduction of school medical examinations which had a major impact on the health and nutrition of children and ultimately influenced the advent of free health care for all through the establishment of the National Health Service.

The Medical Officer of Health played a central and vital role in transforming healthcare across the country but was eventually superseded by the restructuring and reorganisation of council services.

Names and dates of the Medical Officers of Health for Cardiganshire for the period covered by the annual reports in the collection:

Dr Walter Davies: 1908 " c. 1911

Dr Rees William Rees: c. 1911 " 1914

Dr L. Meredith Davies: 1918 " c. 1925

Dr Ernest Jones: c. 1926 " 1956

Dr Iestyn Morgan Watkin: 1956 " 1973 (not date of retirement).



The collection contains a number of items which are subject to the Data Protection Act and closed for 100 years from the year of creation or calculated from the age of the data subject. These include medical records and additional personal data or sensitive information.

Please contact Ceredigion Archives if you wish to apply to view any of these documents for research purposes. The restricted items are noted in the catalogue entries.


There are a small number of documents in Welsh.


A large amount of the collection has been transferred into archival packaging. Original file names when present appear in the catalogue entries in inverted commas. Some of the files have been repackaged into more than one folder due their size and this is noted under ‘extent’ in brackets, for example ‘1 item (3 folders)’.
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