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Biographical entry McConnachie, James Stewart (1913 - 2003)

MRCS 1939; FRCS 1946; BSc Aberdeen 1935; MB ChB 1938; LRCP 1939.

8 October 1913
Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
29 April 2003
General surgeon


James Stewart McConnachie, known as ‘Monty’, was a consultant surgeon at Tredegar and Nevill Hall hospitals. He was born in Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire, Scotland on 8 October 1913 into a medical family. His father was James Stewart McConnachie, his mother, Mary Watson Reiach. He studied medicine in Aberdeen, where he captained the rugby team and the athletics association, and gained five gold medals and one scholarship. He completed house jobs in the professorial units under Sir Stanley Davidson and Sir James Learmonth.

At the outbreak of the second world war, he joined the RAMC and was with the 51st Highland Division in the British Expeditionary Force, being evacuated from St Valéry. He was later posted to the Far East, where he was a prisoner of war in the infamous Changi jail and was made to work on the railways, operating alongside the celebrated Sir ‘Weary’ Dunlop.

After the war, Monty was a surgical registrar at Inverness and then a senior registrar in Aberdeen. In 1949, he was appointed to Tredegar and Nevill Hall hospitals, where he was at first the only surgeon. His wife Dot, along with Alun Evans, gave the anaesthetics. He was a founder member of the Welsh Surgical Society in 1953 and played an important role in developing surgical services in south Wales, culminating with the opening of a new district hospital in Abergavenny, to which he moved with two other surgeons in 1969.

Predeceased by his first wife, Dorothy Isabel Mortimer, and son, he married a second time, to Megan. He died on 29 April 2003.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 2003 327 453].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England