Designatory Letters: 
MB Edin 1947, PhD Lond 1955, MRCP Edin 1956, FRCP Edin 1965

(Contributed by M Matthews)

As the son of a professor of Greek, Arthur’s inherited intelligence was soon to become manifest, and as a pupil he came to be Dux at Watson’s Academy. Following a studentship at Edinburgh University Medical School, he obtained a PhD while working with Professor Barcroft, Professor of Physiology at St Thomas’s Hospital, London. Following this he studied with Dr Jeremy Swan, himself a St Thomas’s graduate, in his cardiac investigation department at the Mayo clinic. Subsequently he was appointed as a cardiologist at the Western General Hospital, Edinburgh.

He soon proved to be exactly the right person for the job, and his investigative skills proved impressive. Cardiac investigation is sometimes potentially dangerous, and Arthur’s calm and his obvious skill removed much of the patients’ anxiety. His measurements made important contributions to publications in which he was co-author with Dr Richard Turner and Mr Andrew Logan, the surgeon responsible for most of the mainly cardiac valve surgery at that time. He developed new methods in the assessment of mitral valvular incompetence, much valued by his surgical colleagues. His non-cardiological colleagues came to appreciate his judgement of problem patients in his field.

His was a very bright light often concealed by particularly opaque bushel. This was perhaps because he was naturally quiet and unaggressive, excellent characteristics, but which resulted in many not recognising how bright the light was. His nursing colleagues, who shared the admiration of his medical colleagues, would note that communication with patients was not his best characteristic, but that there were always others to make up for this deficiency. To this was added a delightful sense of humour.

Apart from medicine he had many interests, and in retirement it was a surprise to find him as a tour guide at Lennoxlove House in Haddington

Many patients have good reason to be grateful for his professional skills, and he will be much missed by the many colleagues who enjoyed his company.