One of the fascinating and mysterious people in our family is Dr Sadashiv Bhikaji Jatar, the half-brother of Shriram Bhikaji Jatar. Sadashiv was born in Wai, Maharashtra, in 1872 and died in 1924 at the age of 52. In today’s day and age, that seems so very young! His story is interesting because it is mysterious. Born in a small village in Maharashtra, he was educated in England, studied medicine, and thereafter remained there, without much contact with any of his relatives in India. As of now, I do not have a photograph but if I discover one will certainly post it here.
He must have visited India but as no one of his generation is alive today, we do not know for sure. What we do know is that he was very close to his nephew Bapurao, the eldest son of his older brother Shriram.
Bapurao and Sadashiv may have been uncle and nephew but they were almost the same age (Bapurao was born in 1871). I guess that is why they were close. This is proved by the fact that in his will he left his money to Bapurao.
Not much is known about my mysterious second grand-uncle (he is my great-grandfather’s younger half-brother) because he spent his life in England and apparently did not marry.
He certainly led a busy life as he was around during the London plague. It was mandatory to report plague cases and this document shows that he did that diligently. The document was found in the cache section of google but it is not more there and the old links are these, here and here:
Luckily I had saved the document (you might find it boring but it has to be put here for the sake of record. You can skip to the next section):
Name of Doctor.
No. of cases reported by each.
Dr. Sorab Nariman
An informant signed D. E. L.
D. Katrak …..
Dr. Dossabhoy K. Patel
S. S. Batliwala
Col. G. Waters …
,, S. K. Dadachanji
Dr. Temulji Bhikaji Nariman
,, J. I. DeQuadros
,, E. J. Treasurywalla
,, L. B. Dhargalker ..
,, H. J. Dadishett
Major Crimmin, Port H. O
Major J. P. Barry, I.M.S.
Dr. Dadabhai N. Saher ..
Lt. Twigg, I.M.S….
J. K. Daji …..
Capt. Brogden, R.A.M.C.
Hurjibhoy J. Apoo ..
Dr. H. W. B. Prescott
C. Rodrigues …..
L. P. Gomes …
A. A. Gair …..
,, Navazbai M. Metha
,, Edulji Nusserwanji
,, F. B. Seervai …
S. B. Jatar …..
J. Nicholson …
But a considerable number of medical practitioners habitually gave information direct to the District Officers, and the following names, not
included in the above list, are mentioned by them: –
Dr. Viegas, Dr. Ismail Jan Mahomed, Dr. D. B. Naik, Dr. (Mrs.) Nadirshaw, Dr. Rozario, Dr. Narielwala, Dr. Erachshah Hakim, Vaid
Erapa, Dr. F. X. Fereira, Dr. P. J. deSouza, Dr. Purshotam Harichand,
Dr. S. S. Misir, Dr. B. D. Kapadia, Dr. Popat Parbhuram, Dr. Ranina,
Dr. Moses and others.
In some 7 cases during the course of the year serious occasion arose to suspect medical practitioners of deliberately neglecting their legal obligation of reporting Plague cases. Two of these cases were
taken into Court and convictions obtained; in another case the doctor concerned apologised and promised amendment, in the other 4 cases
there was insufficient evidence to warrant legal proceedings. Only two of the 7 above referred to were qualified men. Information derived from hospitals is in a way satisfactory; it may be observed
that as many as 10 per cent. of the total number of Plague cases detected were voluntary removals to hospital. The disadvantages attached to this form of information are first that the patients or their friends
and relatives give as often as not most vague and unsatisfactory addresses, and secondly that even when the house, where the patient fell sick is found, the contacts have frequently removed themselves
elsewhere, taking all their belongings with them undisinfected, and probably causing danger to other people. The proportion of voluntary
removals in B Ward South was noticeably high. Information supplied by the Lunatic Asylum and by the Military, refers entirely to A Ward,
where the asylum is situated and the troops are quartered. The detection of Plague amongst the troops and their followers was entrusted to the Military, and the work was most efficiently performed.
It will be seen that the sectional medical officers and staff, together with the registration ramosis, discovered more than half the Plague cases by their own efforts, but less than a third of the cases they
found were detected before the death of the patient. In D Ward, Wari Bandar, and F and G Wards this work weighed heavily upon the staff,
principally owing to the lack of energy in the volunteers of D Ward and…
Dr S.B Jatar was practising medicine in Birmingham, the West Midlands, England, or at least we guess so because that was where he died in 1924. His death has been recorded in government documents in England which I had got access to. This is an image of the documents of the “All England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1861-1941. These are the results in the name of Sadashiva Bhikaji Jatar which I got access to after paying a small amount to access the papers. (click on the image to see it larger.)
One cannot help but wonder what sort of life this young Jatar doctor led in England, at a time when India was ruled by the British. Whether he had any girl-friends or whether he led the life of a workaholic. Who his friends were I wonder! We will never know.
Added Later: After a comment by “acwri1” I have added two screenshots of his mention in the newspaper Manchester Courier:
I could not access these articles without a paid subscription. Strangely, he was mistaken to be a Parsee, when actually the Jatars have no Parsee blood at all.
Contributed by Nita Jatar Kulkarni