Intended for healthcare professionals


Guy Charmot: epidemiologist and French war hero

BMJ 2019; 364 doi: (Published 21 February 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;364:l836
  1. Rebecca Wallersteiner
  1. wallersteiner{at}

Photo shows: From left to right: Bernard Sureau (1914-1989), Guy Charmot (1914-2019), André Dodin (1926-1995) at l’Hôpital Pasteur in 1971.

Photo credit: L’Institut Pasteur Archives, Jacques Bourichon

Guy Charmot, epidemiologist and expert in tropical medicine, has died at the age of 104.

Born in Toulon in 1914, the son of Ulysse Charmot, a tax collector, and his wife, Claire, Guy wanted to become both a doctor and a soldier from a young age. He attended the Ecole de santé des armées in Bron and qualified as a doctor at Lyon military medical school in 1938. Drawn to service in France’s overseas colonies, he then went to Marseille to study tropical medicine and entered the French Defence Health Service.

Presidential tribute

After Charmot’s death, President Emmanuel Macron made a public announcement, an unprecedented tribute for a doctor, honouring “with emotion, the memory of a man who committed himself with exceptional courage and self sacrifice to the liberty and honour of France.” Although Charmot was proud of his war record, he was self effacing and rarely talked about it.

According to the Ordre de la Libération, at the outbreak of the second world war Charmot served, briefly, in the Sarre sector with the 49th regiment d’artillerie coloniale. In 1940 he was posted to a bush …

View Full Text

Log in

Log in through your institution


* For online subscription