Browse Fellows


www Lives

Biographical entry Dundas-Grant, Sir James (1854 - 1944)

KBE 1920; MRCS 13 November 1876; FRCS 12 June 1890; MA Edinburgh 1873; MB CM 1876; MD 1879; FRCS Edinburgh 1884.

13 June 1854
13 November 1944
ENT surgeon


Born in Edinburgh on 13 June 1854, the eldest child of James Dundas-Grant, advocate, and Louise Elizabeth Chapuy, his wife. He was educated at Edinburgh Academy, at Dunkirk College in France, and at Edinburgh University, and took postgraduate courses in London, at Bart's, the London, the Middlesex, and University College Hospitals, and also at Wurzburg. Settling in general practice in London in 1877, he was attached to the Poplar Hospital and the Shadwell Lying-in Home, but his interest turned to oto-laryngology and in 1879 he was appointed surgical registrar to the Central London (now Royal National) Nose, Throat, and Ear Hospital in Gray's Inn Road, becoming later pathologist and surgeon. He took the Edinburgh surgical Fellowship in 1884, gave up general for consultant practice in 1886, and took the FRCS England in 1890. He was elected consulting surgeon to the Nose, Throat, and Ear Hospital in 1913, and was also consulting surgeon to the Sussex Throat and Ear Hospital at Brighton, and consulting laryngologist to the Freemasons' Hospital, the Brompton Hospital for Consumption, the Cancer Hospital and the West-end Hospital for Nervous Diseases. He was active in various medical societies and was president of the Hunterian Society and the British Laryngological Association; also president of the sections of laryngology and otology of the Royal Society of Medicine and of the corresponding sections at annual meetings of the BMA. He was a member of the American Laryngological Association, the Société française de Laryngologie, the Société belge d'Otologie, the Interstate Postgraduate Association of USA, the Oesterreichische otologische Gesellschaft, the Wiener laryngologische Gesellschaft and the Società italiana di Laringologia, d'Otologia e di Rinologia.

Dundas-Grant was a keen volunteer, but had retired before the 1914-18 war with the rank of surgeon-major from the 24th Middlesex (Post Office) Rifle Volunteers, and had been principal medical officer of the 6th Brigade of the London Division of the National Reserve. He had also lectured at the College of Ambulance organized by Sir James Cantlie. During the war he was attached as aurist and laryngologist in London to the King George Military Hospital, Lord Knutsford's Hospital for Officers, the New Zealand Military Hospital, the Endsleigh Place Hospital, and the Russian Hospital; and was honorary consultant for diseases of the ear to the Ministry of Pensions 1917-20. For these services he was created KBE in 1920.

Dundas-Grant married in 1890 Helen, daughter of Edward Frith. Lady Dundas-Grant died in May 1944, six months before her husband. He had practised at 148 Harley Street, and lived latterly at 32 Lexham Gardens, Kensington, W8, and finally in a flat at 29 Sheffield Terrace, Kensington, W8. He died in a nursing home at 27 Dartmouth Road, NW2, on 13 November 1944, aged 90, survived by his two sons, Bramwell Dundas-Grant and Commander J H Dundas-Grant, RN. His great vitality had been somewhat diminished by a street accident. He was cremated at Golders Green and a memorial service was held at Brompton Hospital chapel on 27 November 1944.

Though he never wrote a book, Dundas-Grant was a prolific contributor to the scientific journals and to medical annuals and encyclopaedias. He was particularly ingenious in improving mechanical instruments, often of his own devising, and in the development of aids for hearing. His cannula for aspirating the middle ear, and his ligature-applicator for tonsillar vessels were at one time much used. He carried out considerable research on asthma and on laryngeal tuberculosis, and devised an operation for shortening an elongated uvula as a cure for cough. Sir James was a man of great social accomplishments. He was a skilled musician and a trained orchestral conductor; a good fencer; and a grand officer of freemasonry. He was honorary surgeon to the Royal Academy of Music, and honorary aural surgeon to the Royal Society of Musicians. For some time he was a manager of the Royal Institution.

Labyrinth tests. Med Press, 1922, 103, 501.
Enlarged tonsils and adenoids. W Lond med J. 1924, 29, 1.
Catarrhal deafness. Practitioner, 1925, 64, 385.
Tuberculosis and cancer of the larynx. Clin J. 1925, 54, 469.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times, 14 November 1944, p 6f, 18 November, p 6b, funeral and correct date of marriage, and 28 November, p 6b, memorial service; Brit med J. 1944, 2, 709-710; Lancet, 1944, 2, 729, with portrait; information given by his son, Bramwell Dundas-Grant].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England