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Biographical entry Ogilvie, Thomas Alexander (1902 - 1968)

FRCS ad eundem 1961; MB ChB St Andrews 1925; FRCS Ed 1930.

11 April 1902
21 December 1968
General surgeon and Orthopaedic surgeon


Thomas Alexander Ogilvie was born in Dundee on 11 April 1902. He went to school at the Morgan Academy there, and graduated in medicine at St Andrews University in 1925, being awarded a gold medal in ophthalmology. He held junior hospital appointments at the Dundee Royal Infirmary, and passed the Edinburgh Fellowship in 1930.

He then spent some time in general practice in North Wales, where he was also honorary surgeon to the Llandudno and District Hospital, but it was after his appointment as consultant surgeon in Colchester that his career really took shape. Shortly after his arrival the second world war started, and Ogilvie served in the Emergency Medical Service. It was just after the war that the hospital at Notley, near Braintree, took over the orthopaedic work for the Colchester area, and therefore Ogilvie, who had previously taken a special interest in orthopaedic surgery at the Essex County Hospital, was obliged to devote all his energies to general surgery. The outcome of this was a remarkable collaboration between him and Ronald Reid, who combined to make Colchester a renowned centre which attracted postgraduates from London and the Eastern counties to attend the monthly sessions on Saturdays-at the Essex County Hospital, at which surgical cases were demonstrated and discussed. No wonder that their experience and advice was of value to the Royal College of Surgeons of England in framing programmes of postgraduate training, and it was a fitting acknowledgement of his contribution when Ogilvie was admitted to the Fellowship in 1961. He was a first-rate general surgeon, with a special interest in abdominal disease; and as well as the Essex County Hospital he also served several of the smaller hospitals in the district, at Clacton, Sudbury, Halstead and Dovercourt, and he was surgeon to Severalls Mental Hospital. He bore his full share of committee work, and was at one time President of the Colchester Medical Society.

He retired from hospital practice in 1967, but continued to live in Colchester and to take an interest in surgery as well as in local affairs, including sport. In his youth he had been a fine tennis player, and though he could still enjoy this game in later life his chief joy was fishing for salmon on his beloved Speyside. He remained in good health till shortly before his death on 21 December 1968, at the age of 66. He was survived by his wife, a daughter, and two sons, one of whom graduated in medicine at St Andrews.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1969, 1, 648].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England