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Biographical entry Morrison, James Thomas Jackmanc (1856 - 1933)

MRCS 24 January 1879; FRCS 13 December 1883; BA Cambridge 1882; MB BCh 1883; MA 1888; MSc Birmingham 1901; JP City of Birmingham.

8 December 1856
10 May 1933
General surgeon


Born 8 December 1856, the eldest son of James Morrison, who held a commission in the Royal Artillery, and Elizabeth Jackman, his wife. He was educated at Christ's College, Cambridge, where he was a scholar and gained the gold medal for an English essay and the senior scientific prize. He graduated with a first class in the Natural Sciences Tripos in 1882 and had previously qualified from Guy's Hospital, where he won the gold medal in clinical surgery and the medical essay prize in 1878. The subject was "Chorea" and the prize was given by the Guy's Physical Society. He acted as house surgeon at Guy's Hospital, and then returned to Cambridge as senior assistant demonstrator of anatomy in the medical school. In 1886 he went to Birmingham as house surgeon at Queen's Hospital, where in the following year he was appointed casualty surgeon. He was elected assistant to the professor of surgery in Mason University College in 1895 and held office until 1899, when he was appointed professor of forensic medicine in succession to Sir Robert M Simon. This chair he held for thirty-two years. He became honorary surgeon to the Queen's Hospital in 1902 and remained on the active staff until 1919, when he was appointed consulting surgeon.

In the early stages of the war of 1914-18 he organized a British Hospital unit in Serbia, acting as surgeon-in-chief for about two years, with a service of 300 beds. In recognition of his services he received the Serbian Order of the White Eagle and the Order of St Sava. The work of the St John Ambulance Association always attracted him and he was an honorary Associate of the Order. He was appointed a magistrate for the City of Birmingham in 1914. For thirty-five years he was police surgeon for the City, and was a past president of the United Kingdom Police Surgeons Association. He also did much work for the British Medical Association: he was a member of the representative body in 1903, of the central Council in 1904-05 and again in 1908-09, and served on the special committee on tests for drunkenness. He also held office as president of the Birmingham branch of the Association.

He married on 27 September 1889 Edith, daughter of J W Titterton and niece of Sir Charles Soame, Bart, who survived him but without children. He died at Southfield, 48 Church Road, Edgbaston, on 10 May 1933 and was buried at Brandwood End cemetery after a service conducted by Professor Rendle Short of the University of Bristol in accordance with the rites of the Plymouth Brethren. Professor Morrison was a man of outstanding ability with a wide range of interests. He was an eloquent speaker and a facile writer; a man of high aim and undeviating rectitude, whose inflexibility sometimes brought him unpopularity. As an expert witness his evidence was clear and forceful.


Spinal anaesthesia by tropacocaine, Ingleby lecture. Brit med J 1913, 1, 1305.
Wounds and projectile injuries. Encyclop Medica 2nd edition 1925, 13, 509.
William Sands Cox and the Birmingham Medical School. Birmingham, 1926.
Poisons, an introduction to toxicology. London, 1930.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Lancet, 1933, 1, 1095, with portrait; Brit med J 1933, 1, 897 and 940; Queen's med Mag 1933, 30, 131; information given by Mrs Morrison].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England Library