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Biographical entry Watson, Donald (1887 - 1957)

MRCS and FRCS 9 December 1920; MB BCh Edinburgh 1911.

7 July 1887
Thames, New Zealand
28 March 1957
Bradford, Yorkshire
ENT surgeon


Born on 7 July 1887 at Thames, North Island, New Zealand the son of John Watson and his wife Mary Pascoe, he was at school at Thames and at Wellington and then entered the civil service. Soon however he came to the medical school at Edinburgh, and qualified in 1911. During the first world war he served in the RAMC in India and the East, and then returned to Edinburgh. After acting as assistant to Sir Harold Stiles from 1919 to 1922 he decided to specialise as a laryngologist and accepted the post of assistant surgeon to the Royal Eye and Ear Hospital, Bradford.

Watson spent the rest of his life at Bradford and played a leading part in professional affairs. He was treasurer of the Bradford division of the British Medical Association for many years and its President three times between 1939 and 1947. He was also President of the North of England Otolaryngological Society and of the section of otology in the Royal Society of Medicine. He was the first chairman of the Laryngologists Group in the British Medical Association, and was secretary of the laryngology and otology section when the Association met at Bradford in 1924 and a vice-president at Cambridge in 1948. When the National Health Service was established in 1948, Watson was appointed to the Leeds Regional Hospital Board and became chairman of its medical services committee and a representative governor of the United Leeds Hospitals; he was also chairman of the Leeds regional consultants committee.

Watson was a rugged and robust individualist who always spoke his mind, but kept warm friendship with many men with whom he disagreed. He was a man of boyish enthusiasm in his work and his recreations, the chief of which were golf, shooting, and fishing.

Watson married on 4 July 1914 Jean Craigen Hendry, who survived him with their daughter. He retired from his hospital appointments in 1952, and died at 3 Park Drive, Heaton, Bradford, Yorkshire on 28 March 1957 aged 69. He had lived earlier at 33 Manor Row, Bradford.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J. 1957, 1, 1951 by F E Chester-Williams; information from Mrs Watson].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England