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Biographical entry Craig, James Andrew (1872 - 1958)

MRCS 2 August 1898; FRCS 11 December 1902; MB BCh BAO RUI 1895; Hon MD 1951.

20 March 1872
Ballymoney, County Antrim
26 November 1958
ENT surgeon and Ophthalmic surgeon


Born on 20 March 1872 at Ballymoney, Co Antrim, son of James Craig, he was educated at Coleraine Academical Institution and Queen's College, Belfast where he obtained first-class honours in the final medical examinations in 1895. For the next three years he held resident appointments at the Royal Southern Hospital, Liverpool, and then studied eye and ear diseases in Vienna.

Craig was appointed demonstrator of anatomy at Queen's College, Belfast in 1899, and in 1901 was elected honorary assistant in the Eye, Ear and Throat Department of the Royal Victoria Hospital, retiring in 1937 at the age of 65. He was appointed lecturer in ophthalmology and otology at Queen's University in 1913. On the outbreak of war in 1939 he returned to his old hospital post to release younger men for war service. His work was rewarded by the MD honoris causa.

Craig was a generous benefactor to the University and, among other gifts, he established a lectureship associated with the James Craig Prize. Craig was a member of the Ophthalmological Society of the United Kingdom, the Oxford Ophthalmological Congress, the Société française d'Ophtalmologie, and the editorial committee of the British Journal of Ophthalmology. He was also a past-president of the Irish Ophthalmological Society and of the Ulster Medical Society.

A keen sportsman, Craig was one of the early enthusiasts for skiing. Later he played golf and was Captain of the Royal Co Down Golf Club in 1943 and 1944. Craig loved the sea and in retirement lived at Mayfield, Cultra, Co Down on the shore of Belfast Lough.

He married Blanche daughter of J R Waldron of Hythe, Kent, in 1917; Mrs Craig died in 1952. He died on 26 November 1958 aged 86, survived by his two sons, the elder of whom, Maurice Craig, is an antiquary and historian.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1958, 2, 1477, with portrait and appreciation by RM; Lancet 1958, 2, 1292, by FMBA; Brit J Ophthal 1959, 43, 192].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England