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Biographical entry Maclaren, Norman (1876 - 1937)

MRCS 7 February 1901; FRCS 11 June 1903; BA Cambridge 1897; MB BCh 1901; MA 1923; LRCP 1901; JP 1927; TD.

12 June 1876
12 August 1937
General surgeon


Born 12 June 1876 at 23 Portland Square, Carlisle, the eldest son of. Roderick Maclaren, MD, surgeon to the Cumberland Infirmary, and Isabella Emma Campbell, his wife. He was educated at Rugby when Dr Percival was headmaster, and entered Trinity College, Cambridge as a pensioner on 25 June 1894. He graduated in 1897, after being placed in the first class in the Natural Sciences Tripos, proceeded to St Bartholomew's Hospital for his medical education, and afterwards acted as house surgeon at the Metropolitan Hospital. Returning to Carlisle he joined his father in partnership and was appointed assistant surgeon to the Cumberland Infirmary in 1904. From 1912 to 1936 he was surgeon, and on his retirement in June of the latter year he was made consulting surgeon and treasurer.

At the outbreak of war Maclaren held a commission in the first volunteer battalion of the Border Regiment, and on 29 October 1914 he was gazetted major, RAMC, attached to the regiment, and proceeded with his battalion to Burma. In 1916 he was transferred to Bombay, where he worked at Colaba as surgical specialist, and subsequently served in the same position in Egypt. He retired in 1919 with the rank of lieutenant- colonel, received the Territorial Decoration, and became a military member of the Territorial Association of Cumberland and Westmorland. He was also assistant county commissioner of the St John Ambulance Brigade, a serving brother of the Order of St John of Jerusalem, and county controller for Cumberland and Westmorland of VADs. During 1920-22 he was in command of the First Western casualty clearing station. In January 1927 he was made a Justice of the Peace for Cumberland, and in December 1933 he was elected chairman of the Cumberland ward magistrates. For many years he was an active member of the British Medical Association, in 1922-26 he was honorary secretary of the Border Counties branch, was chairman of the English division in 1919, and president in 1925.

He married in 1905 Elizabeth Stead Davidson. She survived him with two sons, the elder, Roderick, a master at Clifton College, the younger, Colin, in the medical profession. He died at Portland Square, Carlisle on 12 August 1937. Maclaren carried on in Carlisle the excellent professional and literary tradition of the Dales, and it may be noted that during his life surgery there was still combined with general practice. He was an excellent organizer and a good administrator. Apart from his profession he was especially interested in heraldry and archaeology, doing some good work in connexion with the great wall of Hadrian.

Cumberland Infirmary: past, present and future. Brit med J 1925, 2, 967.
Thomas Addison and Cumberland. Brit med J 1926, 1, 1096.
Lister and Carlisle. Brit med J 1927, 1, 695.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Lancet, 1937, 2, 552; Brit med J 1937, 2, 395, with portrait, a good likeness; information given by Mrs Norman Maclaren; personal knowledge].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England