Voice: Good morning, Dr Watson. Thank you for finding the time to talk to us.
Dr Watson: No problem. The pleasure is all mine.
Voice: Could you first of all give us a short personal introduction? There might be a few listeners who don’t know who you are.
Dr Watson: Of course. I am Doctor John Watson. People know me best as the chronicler and narrator of the cases of the greatest detective the world has ever known, Mr Sherlock Holmes. For a while I shared Mr Holmes’ rooms in Baker Street, London, and accompanied him on many of his criminal cases.
Voice: You were Holmes’ assistant?
Dr Watson: No. I would never call myself that. I don’t have the talent for detective work that Mr Holmes has.
Voice: Where did you train to be a doctor?
Dr Watson: In London. I got my degree in medicine - my M.D. - in 1878 after studying at London University’s School of Medicine and Dentistry.
Voice: Where was your first job?
Dr Watson: After leaving university, I got a position as an assistant surgeon in the British army.
Voice: Did you serve abroad?
Dr Watson: Oh yes. As soon as I joined the army, I was sent to India. Then my regiment was moved to the war zone in Afghanistan. But my career as an army doctor didn't last long. I was wounded at the Battle of Maiwand in 1880. An enemy bullet hit me in the left shoulder, breaking the bone. I lost a lot of blood, but fortunately my servant dragged me out of the battle and back to the army hospital.
Voice: He saved your life.
Dr Watson: He did indeed. For weeks, the doctors thought I would not live. I suffered terrible pain from the wound and long attacks of fever. When I did recover, I was very weak and of no further use to the army. The doctors decided to send me back to England. My career as an army doctor was finished and my health was in ruins.
Voice: What happened when you got back to England?
Dr Watson: I had no relatives or close friends in London. In fact, I had no family at all anywhere. I was completely alone. The army had given me a small pension for nine months so I was not without money. I rented a room in a hotel in Central London, but knew I would soon have to find somewhere cheaper.
Voice: What did you decide to do?
Dr Watson: One evening, completely by chance, I bumped into one of the hospital workers from my student days. He told me he knew someone who was looking for a second person to share a flat in Baker Street. That someone was Sherlock Holmes. The two of us met, and quickly decided that we would be compatible as flatmates. And the rest is, as they say, history.