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Biographical entry Johnstone, Athol Archibald Wood (1820 - 1902)

MRCS Aug 12th 1847; FRCS Aug 12th 1847.

16 March 1902
General surgeon


The youngest son of Dr James Johnson, Physician to King William IV, who, owing to a clerical error at the Admiralty had his surname spelt Johnson instead of Johnstone on the Navy List, as noted under his eldest son, Henry James Wolfenden Johnson (qv). Athol Johnstone reverted to the original family name on the death of his father. He studied at St George's Hospital, where he was successively House Surgeon, Demonstrator of Anatomy, and Lecturer on Physiology. He succeeded George Pollock (qv) as Surgeon to the Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street, where he had for colleagues Sir William Jenner and Dr West. He proved a sound surgeon and dexterous operator, in particular as a lithotomist. He was also Surgeon to the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children with Hip Disease, and to St George's and St James's Dispensary. In 1861 he did not stand for the vacancy of Assistant Surgeon to St George's Hospital following the death of Henry Gray, but having married for the second time moved in 1862 to Brighton, where he practiced as Surgeon to the Brighton and Sussex Throat and Ear Hospital, the Invalid Gentlewomen's Home, and to the Brighton Battery of the old Royal Naval Artillery until about nine or ten years before his death.

He had an unaffected wit and his brilliant illustrations rendered his lectures a pleasure; he occasionally was the anonymous author of jeux d'esprit. A modest, unambitious man, he continued to do good work among local charities until his death at Moritz House, Dyke Road, Brighton, on March 16th, 1902. In the Fellows' Register he is placed under the name of Johnson. His portrait is in the Fellows' Album. He was twice married, his second wife surviving him.

For a time Johnstone was sub-editor of the British and Foreign Review, which his father had founded, and he contributed largely to its columns as also to other publications.
"Diseases of Joints" in the 1st and 2nd editions of Holmes's Surgery.
"On Recovery after Traumatic Rupture of the Liver and Spleen." - Med-Chir Trans, 1851, xxxiv, 58.
Lectures on the Surgery of Childhood, 1860.

The Royal College of Surgeons of England