Benjamin William Quartey-Papafio
Benjamin William Quartey-Papafio was born into a leading Ghanaian family, and was educated at grammar school in Sierra Leone, before travelling to study in Britain. Gaining a B.A. degree from Durham University, he enrolled as a medical student at St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College in 1882 before shortly relocating to Edinburgh University. He graduated from Edinburgh with the degree M.B. and M.Ch. in 1886 and became a member of the Royal College of Surgeons. He was the first African from the Gold Coast area to receive a British medical degree.
Returning to the Gold Coast, he became a medical officer for the Gold Coast Government Service from 1888 until 1905, and was also in private practice. Quartey-Papafio had three children by Hannah Maria Ekua Duncan. on 8 October 1896 at St Bartholomew-the-Great Church in Smithfield, London, he then married Eliza Sabina Meyer, daughter of Richard Meyer of Accra, and the couple had six children.
A member of the Accra Town Council from 1909 to 1912, Quartey-Papafio was a member of the 1911 deputation to London that protested the Forest Bill. He was an unofficial member of the Legislative Council from 1919 to 1924. He died on 14 September 1924, aged 65, in Accra.
Images courtesy of Barts Health NHS Trust Archives