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Sihn: “The 34th National Representative,” Dr. Frank W. Schofield (石虎弼, 1889–1970)


This year is a year of 100th anniversary of the March 1 Movement, the movement of independence proclaimed by more than two million people in Korea in 1919 that initiated the commencement of modern Korea. The passion for independence of Korean people brought about the establishment of the Temporary Government of Korea in Shanghai in April, 1919, thereby the current government of Korea has the historicity of 100 years. The March 1 Movement was led by 33 national leaders who were the representatives of varied social groups. There were also foreigners who helped the March 1 Movement, and Dr. Frank William Schofield (1889–1970) was one of them (Fig. 1). In Korea, he was known as Seok Ho-pill (石虎弼), which, in Korean, projects as being strong as stone, brave as a tiger, and helpful to the weak. He also gained the alias of “34th National Representative.”
Frank Schofield was born on March 15, 1889, at the Rugby city in the county of Warwickshire, England, as the youngest boy among 4 children of brothers and sisters. His mother, who suffered from puerperal fever, had passed away soon after his birth, thereby he had to be brought up by his step mother. His father, Francis William Schofield Sr., was a theologian who taught New Testament and Greek etc. in a divinity school; and he was a faithful and straitlaced man. Frank Schofield migrated to Toronto, Canada, and had to prepare for educational expenses spontaneously through working at farms, by which he entered Ontario Veterinary College. He went to the veterinary school because he was impressed by devotional attitudes of veterinarians whom he met at the farms. He continued his work as well as school studies, while he was taken by infantile paralysis, thereby he had to take a lifetime burden of disturbances in his left arm and right leg. Despite the disturbances, he managed his studies with his passion, and he graduated from Veterinary College of Ontario first on the list, and finally attained doctoral grade in veterinary in 1911.
After the attainment of his doctoral degree, he was invited by Dr. Oliver R. Avison (1860–1956) who was in Severance Medical College in 1916 (Severance Union Medical College from 1917, hereafter SUMC), and thereby he came to Korea with his wife Alice Schofield in October, 1916, for the first time. Schofield taught microbiology and hygienics in the Severance Medical College. On March 1, 1919, Schofield witnessed coercive suppression of Japanese colonial power over Koreans, and disclosed the reality of the March 1 Movement by releasing articles to domestic and overseas press. Besides, he also tried to protect the human rights of prisoners when he heard about the torture of independence activists who were imprisoned in Seodaemun Prison.
Further, he also accused the Japanese colonial power of the Jeam-ri and Suchon-ri massacres, which occurred during the March 1 Movement. Japanese colonial power counted him as an ‘Arch Agitator,’ and tried to expel him from the Korean peninsula because of his activities, and he finally drove out to his country in July, 1920. He retired from professorship of the Veterinary College of Ontario in 1955, and visited Korea again in 1958 by the invitation of the Korean government as a national guest. Schofield expressed his wishes to cultivate younger students in Korea, and Seoul National University appointed him as a professor in charge of veterinary pathology. In April 1970, Schofield completed his life of service as an educator for 18 years in Korea, and he was buried in the National Memorial Board as the one and only foreigner.


One day in February, 1919, Lee Gab-seong (1886–1981), the pharmaceutical chief of Severance Hospital, came to Schofield. He was one of the 33 National Representatives and he knew the nature of Schofield and expected that Schofield would participate in the national independence movement of the Korean people actively. However, the participation of Schofield in the national independence movement was not easy. The participation in the movement of Schofield was not complying with the principle of separation of religions from politics of the idea of mission, by which the mission would suffer coercive suppression or hazards from Japanese colonial power. However, Schofield was not hesitant upon receiving propositions for the movement. Above all, he opposed the coercive domination by Japanese colonial government and expressed an absolute support for freedom and independence of Korean people. Although he was born an English man, he even dissented from policies of English colonialism and the suppressive domination of human society. For Schofield, the activities for participation in the March 1 Movement can be summarized as following three parts.1
First, Schofield performed the recording and observation of the reality of the March 1 Movement deliberately. Schofield knew what would happen on March 1, 1919, previously, and prepared himself with a camera and wandered around the Pagoda Park for the March 1 Movement despite his disturbed body. Upon hearing the burst of great outcry, “Long Live Independence of Korea!,” he pressed the shutter release button of the camera consecutively. And he recorded what he saw and contributed the articles associated with the movement to domestic and oversea newspapers. He played a key role in the history of the March 1 Movement, as most of the pictures of that contemporary movement which are remaining until today are captured by himself.
Second, Schofield reported the reality of the Jeam-ri and Suchon-ri massacres to all over the world. Along with the propagation of the March 1 Movement nationwide, the confrontation with Japanese police and military forces was unavoidable and frequently followed by the slaughter of innocent people exposed to circumstances. The Jeam-ri and Suchon-ri massacres in Suwon County (currently the city of Hwaseong) occurred in April 1919 during which many innocent people were slaughtered. As a vengeance of the movement occurred in Suwon area, the military forces of Japanese colonial power entered Suchon-ri on April 6th and burned the entire village, and coercively suppressed the opponents against the burning of village with fire arms. During the process, a man was killed and several other people became wounded. In Jeam-ri, 30 people were cooped up in the church, and the church was burned by the Japanese army as a revenge on the March 1 Movement. Upon hearing news of the Jeam-ri massacre, Schofield started fact finding to collect the facts of the Jeam-ri and Suchon-ri massacres. Schofield wrote and contributed articles on the Jeam-ri and Suchon-ri massacres to the Presbyterian Witness and The Shanghai Gazette in English.23 Rumors of the Jeam-ri and Suchon-ri massacres had turned out as facts and became known worldwide through the efforts of Schofield.
Third, Schofield expressed his deep concern on the torture of people put into prison due to the March 1 Movement and protection of human rights, as well as finding the facts and release of realities of the March 1 Movement worldwide. At that time, The Seoul Press, which played the role of reporting political situations in Korea for foreigners, released the article on May 11th that expressed ‘Seodaemum Prison’ as ‘Seodaemun Sanatorium’ or ‘Seodaemun Vocational School,’ in favor of the Japanese colonial government. Schofield visited Seodaemun Prison by himself and tried to find facts associated with the name. He held an interviewed with Noh Sun-gyeong (1902–1979), the nurse of Severance Hospital, and met Ryu Gwan-sun (1902–1920), a student of Ehwa Girl's High School, who was confined in the same room, and identified that there had been torture and savage lashing. In fact, Ryu Gwan-sun and Bae Dong-seok (1891–1924), a medical student at SUMC, died in prison and a hospital because of the torture. Based on results of his investigation, Schofield met senior officials as well as Governor of Japanese colonial government, Hasegawa Yoshimichi (1850–1924), and appealed for the torture and requested the protection of human rights of Korean prisoners.4


After graduation from Veterinary College of Ontario, Canada, Schofield reported 7 papers on arthropathy, abortion, and pulmonary infection etc. in the laboratory of Professor John A. Amyot. In 1916, while he was teaching microbiology and hygienics in the SUMC, he reported the paper on diphtheria and influenza with his pupil, Cynn Hyun-chang (1892–1951). In particular, he published the paper on Spanish Influenza and Cause of Disease in the Journal of American Medical Association in April 1919 (Fig. 2),5 and in The China Medical Journal in May 1919.6 In the paper, Schofield estimated the prevalence and propagation channel of epidemic of influenza in 1918. The influenza, propagated in Europe and Siberia since September 1918, was estimated that it was contracted by 25–50% of entire population. At that time, the cause of Spanish Influenza was known as Pfeiffer's Bacillus, however Schofield doubted it because the minority of patients were found as carrying the bacteria, and raised the cause of disease would possibly be different type of epidemics of highly infectious and a very tiny microorganism unable to be found from the sputum of patients.
Schofield took the course of education of microbiology assigned by 5 hours in the first semester, 6 hours in the second semester, and 3 hours in the third semester for sophomores in the SUMC. At the time, there were three semesters in a year in the SUMC. The lecture in the course was comprised of experiments, preparation of samples for examination and identification of microorganisms. For the 4th grade students, he provided the students with advanced course of making vaccines and blood serum against epidemics (Fig. 3). Besides, he also provided the students with lessons of personal hygiene, foods, quality of atmosphere and water etc. in the course of hygienics.7 Schofield did not focus on personal prevention and treatment of diseases in the course of medical education. He also emphasized the critical thinking and doing social practice ordinarily as a person of intelligence to prevent or cure social diseases. Many students, including Cynn Hyun-chang and Bae Dong-seok, who learned microbiology and hygienics from him and later received rewards from the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs as a national contributor, actively participated in the Independence Movement at home and abroad, and followed their teacher's instructions of social practice.
In 1920, Schofield came back to Canada, and left over 140 papers in the discipline of pathobiology at the Veterinary College of Ontario until he retired in 1955. In particular, Schofield performed his unique study on ‘Sweet Clover, Melilotus alba and Melilotus officinalis’ which was the feed for cattle. In 1921, unknown epidemic of cattle prevailed in the area of Ontario, and Schofield reported the disease was attributed to the toxin of ‘Sweet Clover, Melilotus alba and Melilotus officinalis’ rather than infectious causes.89 The report played the critical role of identifying the causative agent of dicumarol that suppressed the effect of Vitamin K resulted in coagulation of blood, and this was followed by the development of Wafarin, the anticoagulant. Wafarin is an epoch-making agent that prevents the creation of thrombus, and is occupying a dominant position in the world.10 It cannot be an incident by chance that Schofield was recognized as an extraordinaire scholar in the disciplines of microbiology, pathology, and comparative medicine.11


Professor Schofield taught a comparatively shorter time of 4 years in the SUMC, however, the influence he left to the SUMC and Korean people and society was actually great. He kept his belief and opinion as a man of intelligence against unjustifiable authority and violence of Japanese colonial government. He continued activities as an organ of expression and protection of human rights which were burdensome for Koreans as the colonized people, and even provided the Korean people with bitter advices. He provided Korean society with a great heritage by presenting himself as a solution to issues on how a man of intelligence should live beyond a man who was a medical researcher. The students who learned microbiology and hygienics from him have also thought about the contemporary demands and calls, and the experience and lessons left by Schofield triggered active participation of young students in the SUMC in social movement, as well as in the Movement of Independence.

Figures and Tables

Fig. 1

Prof. Frank W. Schofield in Severance Union Medical College.

Fig. 2

The paper on Spanish Influenza in Korea reported by Schofield and Cynn Hyun-chang published in 1919.

Fig. 3

Classroom of experiment in microbiology (late 1919).



The author has no potential conflicts of interest to disclose.


1. Sihn KH. Severance independence movement and Prof. Frank Schofield. Kangwon Sahak (The Kangwon History);2016. 28:p. 75–105.
2. Report of the Su-chon Atrocities. Presbyterian Witness. 1919. 07. 26.
3. The Massacre of Chai-Amm-Ni. The Shanghai Gazette;1919. 05. 27.
4. Lee JR. The 34th National Representative, Frank Schofield. Seoul: Baram;2007. p. 80–103.
5. Schofield FW, Cynn HC. Pandemic influenza in Korea with special references to its etiology. J Am Med Assoc. 1919; 72:981–983.
6. Schofield FW, Cynn HC. A brief report on pandemic influenza in Korea with special reference to its etiology. The China Med J. 1919; 33:203–209.
7. Catalogue: Severance Union Medical College. Seoul: Korea: 1917. p. 26–27.
8. Schofield FW. A brief account of a disease in cattle simulating hemorrhagic septicaemia due to feeding sweet clover. Can Vet Rec. 1922; 3:3274–3278.
9. Schofield FW. Damaged Sweet Clover: the cause of a new disease in cattle simulating hemorrhagic septicemia and blackleg. J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1924; 64:553–575.
10. Wardrop D, Keeling D. The story of the discovery of heparin and warfarin. Br J Haematol. 2008; 141:757–763.
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11. Maplesden DC. Dr. Frank W. Schofield: veterinarian extraordinaire. Santa Fe (NM): LomaLand Books;2005.

Kyu-hwan Sihn

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