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Biographical entry Campbell, Sir John (1862 - 1929)

Knight Bachelor, 1925; MP for Queen’s University (Parliament of Northern Ireland); MRCS Nov 8th 1888; FRCS June 11th 1891; MA Royal University of Ireland 1884; MD MCh MAO 1887; LLD Queen’s University Belfast 1909.

31 August 1929
Craigavad, County Down
General surgeon


Born at Templepatrick, Co Antrim, the elder son of the Rev Robert Campbell; his younger brother was Robert Campbell (qv). Educated at the Royal Belfast Academical Institution, he graduated BA at Queen’s College, Belfast, in 1883, after winning the Senior Scholarship in Natural History. In the following year he proceeded MA with first-class honours, and three years later he was admitted MD MCh and MAO at the newly constituted Royal University of Ireland. He continued his medical education at the London Hospital, and afterwards visited Paris, Vienna, Munich, Heidelberg, and Bonn. Returning to Belfast he acted for a short time in the place of the Professor of Natural History and was Demonstrator of Anatomy for five years under Peter Redfern (qv). He was appointed Assistant Surgeon to the Belfast Hospital for Sick Children in 1891, Surgeon to the Samaritan Hospital for Women in 1892, and later Assistant to the Belfast Maternity Hospital. From this time he devoted himself entirely to obstetrics and gynaecology, becoming widely known for his clinical ability, skill in organization, and breadth of vision.

Campbell played a prominent part in stimulating the progress of university education in Northern Ireland. He was President of the Royal University Graduates’ Association and a Member of the Senate of the University, on the dissolution of which the degree of LLD was conferred upon him honoris causa. He was afterwards elected Chairman of Convocation of the Queen’s University of Belfast, and was President of the Ulster Medical Society in 1902-1903.

At the British Medical Association he was a Member of Council from 1899-1900, one of the Hon Secretaries of the Section of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the Oxford Meeting in 1904, and President of the section when the Association met at Belfast in 1909. During the European War he was the Senior Surgeon at No 5 British Red Cross Hospital, Wimereux. He was one of the four Unionist members representing the Queen’s University in the Parliament of Northern Ireland from 1921-1929, when he did not offer himself for re-election. Campbell married in 1902 Mrs E F Fitzsimon, of Tralee, by whom he had three sons; Lady Campbell and two sons survived him. He died at Craigavad, Co Down, on Aug 31st, 1929.

Clinical Gynæcology, 1906.
Obstetrics and Gynæcology. A Text-book of Treatment (with Robert Campbell and Dr W Colwell).

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit. Med. Jour., 1929, ii, 521. Lancet, 1929, ii, 584, with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England