Edward Sayers


1902 – 1985


Who was Edward Sayers?

Sir Edward George Sayers was a New Zealand doctor, Methodist missionary, military medical administrator, consultant physician then Dean of the University of Otago Dunedin School of Medicine,. Having trained as a doctor, from 1927 to 1934 he worked at the Methodist mission in the Solomon Islands where he carried out fieldwork in the treatment of malaria. The significance of this work became apparent when Edward used his knowledge to reduce deaths of American, Australia and New Zealand military forces during the invasion of Pacific Islands during World War II. Edward Sayers served as a doctor with the 2nd Division 2 NZEF, during 1941-42 he served in Greece and North Africa. In 1942 he was transferred to the Pacific to serve with the 3rd Division, 2 NZEF IP.

His handbook on malaria control Malaria in the South Pacific became a standard text. As a specialist in tropical diseases his work contributed to minimising deaths in the New Zealand army. The pre-war experience and malaria records of Edward Sayers was also helpful to the United States forces in reducing malaria rates during the Guadalcanal Campaign. His contribution was acknowledged by the award of the Legion of Merit.

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Sep 10, 1902
  • University of Otago Dunedin School of Medicine
Lived in
  • Gizo, Solomon Islands

on July 23, 2013


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