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Biographical entry Jamieson, Crawford William (1937 - 2009)

MRCS 1960; FRCS 1964; MB BS London 1960; MS London 1970; LRCP 1960.

28 September 1937
17 July 2009
Long Sutton, Hampshire
General surgeon and Vascular surgeon


Crawford Jamieson was one of the country's leading peripheral vascular surgeons. He made major academic contributions to the literature of that specialty and became president of the Vascular Surgical Society of Great Britain and Ireland in 1995.

The son of Crawford John Baird Jamieson, an industrialist, and Elizabeth, née McAulay, he was educated at Dulwich College, before proceeding to Guy's Hospital Medical School, from where he graduated in 1960 with honours in surgery. After house jobs, he spent time as a ship's doctor working on a P&O liner, before becoming a senior house officer on the academic surgical unit at St Mary's Hospital, where he was greatly influenced by W (Bill) Irvine. After passing his FRCS in 1964, he was appointed as a registrar at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, where he spent 18 months working with Brian Truscott and John Withycombe. He then returned to St Mary's as a registrar, first on the surgical unit and then on the thoracic unit. In 1967, he was appointed as a lecturer in surgery with honorary senior registrar status to St Mary's Hospital Medical School. Apart from his clinical duties, in this post he was actively involved in research into aspects of gastric secretion, which led to the first of his more than 120 publications. He won the Warren Low award of the medical school, was awarded a Wellcome research fellowship and, in 1968, spent a year as Wellcome research fellow in the department of surgery, Tulane University, New Orleans, at the invitation of Oscar Creech. During this year he studied aspects of tumour immunology and the effects of laser radiation on tumour cell growth, work which led to several publications (one in Nature) and, in 1970, the award of an MS degree and a Hunterian lecture entitled 'Immunological resistance to tumours'. Also in that year, he was promoted to senior lecturer in surgery and assumed the position of assistant director of the surgical unit. In 1972 he was appointed as a part-time senior lecturer in surgery and director of the vascular surgical unit at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School, Hammersmith Hospital, a post which he held for 10 years. In 1973 he was appointed as a consultant surgeon to St Thomas' Hospital, where remained until his retirement in 1997.

Although having trained in vascular surgery, his appointment at St Thomas' was as a result of his strong clinical interest and academic standing in surgical oncology and for several years he confined his practice at St Thomas' to this area. But slowly he began to increase the amount of vascular work he undertook at St Thomas', until this discipline became his overriding interest. A steady flow of original publications in peer-reviewed journals, leaders and chapters in textbooks led to him being asked to lecture both at home and abroad on various aspects of arterial and venous surgery. He was an invited lecturer overseas in countries as varied as Italy, Germany, South Africa, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and the USA, and gave numerous eponymous lectures. He edited five textbooks on aspects of vascular surgery. In 1990 he delivered the prestigious Kinmonth memorial lecture to an international audience and, in 1995, became president of the Vascular Surgical Society of Great Britain and Ireland. He also became a trustee of the British Vascular Foundation. Over and above his many contributions in the vascular field, for much of his consultant career he was closely involved with the British Journal of Surgery, being editor for 10 years and then chairman of the board for another eight years. During that time he oversaw a transformation in the standing of the journal, which became international in its content and readership and universally recognised as one of the world's leading surgical journals.

In the early 1990s, at a time of radical changes in the provision of secondary care, he became a member of the trust executive of the newly merged Guy's and St Thomas' hospitals and assumed the role of trust group clinical director, surgical services. In this capacity he was responsible for integrating the surgical services of the two hospitals, a task which was not easy but one which he fulfilled with distinction. He was also actively involved in workforce planning for the new trust. In these management roles he was instrumental in forging the successful merger of the two hospitals into a joint trust, while largely retaining the individual ethos of each campus.

A man of keen intellect and warm outgoing personality, Crawford Jamieson was a bon vivant, a wonderful raconteur, a superb host and an enthusiastic supporter of country pursuits. Proud of his Scottish ancestry, he could also dance a large number of Scottish reels, flamboyant in his tartan kilt and sporran, something which always featured in his memorable New Year's Eve parties. In 1961 he married Gay Gillibrand, a fellow doctor, and they had a son, Crawford Philip, who became a consultant physician in Norwich. In 2004, after Gay's death from cancer, he married Daphne Bolton, a St Thomas' theatre sister. Sadly, their happiness was short-lived, for three years later he developed a carcinoma of the oesophagus and, despite excisional surgery and adjuvant therapy, died at home in Long Sutton, Hampshire, on 17 July 2009.

Sir Barry Jackson

The Royal College of Surgeons of England