General/Internal Medicine
Designatory Letters: 
MB Edin 1952, MRCP Edin 1959, FRCP Edin 1969, MAMS 1970

[Based on information and memories supplied by his family]

He was born in Edinburgh the son of a World War 1 veteran who had served in the trenches, and of a mother who was the eldest daughter in a family of 15 children. Childhood was not easy and austerity the rule in the house for many years.

His early school years, though much enjoyed by him, gave no hint of the brilliance seen later. He used to joke that he was well into World War 2 before he realised the Scots were not fighting the English. In his teens he seems suddenly to have blossomed, sufficient for several attempts to be made to attract him into a career in Physics but he went into Medicine and never looked back.

Some of his time in National Service (the obligatory two years spent in one of the Services at that time) was spent in Japan where he was fascinated by the culture and from all accounts was much respected by the Japanese who recognised his professional prowess and promise. Back in civilian life he returned to Edinburgh, gained his MRCP Edin and then joined the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC), moving up through the ranks over the years to full Colonel.

Two terms were spent in Singapore giving him the chance to gain both experience and expertise in tropical medicine, on at least one occasion working in Malaysia whilst a colleague took some leave. A colleague of the time, Dr Jerry K T Lim says of him “he will always be cherished in my memory as an excellent doctor, full of empathy for his patients and always a fine gentleman”. This was followed by two terms in Germany where, true to form, he learned sufficient German to be able to lecture and present papers in the language.

Throughout his life he was a keen sportsman, both as a player and an inspiring coach. He played rugby and golf, could swim and dive (something he did en route to Singapore until told there were sharks nearby), and in his 50s took up horse-riding. Retirement in Carrbridge, in the Scottish Highlands, saw him learning curling and bowling and, something he loved, walking his dog in the hills; another opportunity for him to pursue yet another hobby- studying Scottish trees, flowers and plants, the roots of Scottish names, and local history and politics.

Ask his family how they will remember him and all will attest to his utter devotion to them, his love of his children and grandchildren and, though he never said so, they wonder if he was disappointed that none of them followed him into Medicine or were as sporty as he was. Like many professional colleagues who worked alongside him they know how wherever he went he changed lives. How sad that like so many today the last years of his life were clouded by dementia. He died aged 82.