Browse Fellows


www Lives

Biographical entry Shepherd, James Forrest (1899 - 1972)

MBE; MRCS and FRCS 1938; MB ChB Aberdeen 1922; MChOrth Liverpool 1929; LRCP 1938.

3 December 1899
21 October 1972
General practitioner, Military surgeon and Orthopaedic surgeon


James Forrest Shepherd was born on 3 December 1899 and educated at Aberdeen University where he graduated MB ChB, in 1922. He then spent a short time in general practice and a year as house surgeon at the Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport, Monmouthshire. In 1924 he joined the Indian Medical Service and during his early years on the military side assisted his colleagues on the civil side in their surgical work as often as he could. In 1929 he spent his study leave in Liverpool and obtained the MChOrth degree and thus became a military surgical specialist.

In 1934 Shepherd was posted for civil duty in the Madras Presidency and became surgeon at Malabar and later at Vellore. In 1937 he returned to England, obtained the FRCS, and married Margaret Ferguson who passed the examination at the same time. On returning to India he was appointed Professor of Surgery and acting principal of the Medical College at Vizagapatam, but shortly after the outbreak of the second world war he was recalled to military duty and took charge of surgical divisions of hospitals in Bombay and Poona. Subsequently he was sent to Assam where he did so well under service conditions that he was mentioned in dispatches and awarded the MBE. After the war he returned to civil work in Malabar and in 1947 he left India with an excellent record behind him, and was appointed consulting surgeon in orthopaedics to the British Army with the rank of Brigadier.

In 1949 he was appointed full-time consultant surgeon to the Sutton Coldfield group of hospitals, a post which he held with distinction till he retired at the age of 65 in 1964. He then moved to Farnham where he continued to do some private work until he developed cancer of the colon which was removed but had spread to the liver; he faced the inevitable result with great courage, but died on 21 October 1972. His wife Margaret, who had also been his surgical colleague, survived him.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1972, 4, 304].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England