Surgeon Major William George Shepherd was gazetted Assistant Surgeon to the Regiment in 1863, and succeeded his colleague and Lodge Brother Dr Stewart as Regimental Surgeon in 1870. He was awarded the Volunteer Decoration in 1892.
Born in 1814 the son of an Army Officer he received his medical training at the Aldersgate Medical School where he was afterwards the demonstrator of Anatomy before becoming a successful surgeon and general practitioner , first in Claremont Square and then in Myddleton Square.
His father’s influence saw him join the Victoria Rifles with whom he served some thirty-one years, enlisting first as a private, and later being appointed Surgeon as noted above. He was a popular member of the Corps for his “genial manners and remarkable spirit of comradeship” (BMJ 23 April 1898, pp 1112-1113). The Corps offered him the opportunity to combine medicine and military matter and he lectured and drilled his stretcher bearer companies with ability and ease. He was a early practitioner of the teaching of ‘first aid’ to lay people (or rifle volunteers). In civilian life he only taught one medical student, Surgeon-General Bradshaw.
He was a fine shot, fully justifying his posting to a distinguished Rifle Volunteer Corps. In a friendly shooting competition in 1867 (reported in the Masonic Mirror) between the Brethren of the Lodges of the Victoria Rifles and the South Middlesex RVC he returned the highest score:
He died on 30 March 1897. his BMJ Obituary described him as “somewhat rugged, but honest and thorough, and a sterling friend. He kept his friends, and his patients loved him. Almost to the last year of his life he moved among those of the longest standing, valued for what he had been in all the years gone by as well as the energy and devotion which he still exhibited” (Ibid.)