Browse Fellows


www Lives

Biographical entry Stout, Sir Thomas Duncan MacGregor (1885 - 1979)

Kt 1962; CBE; OBE; DSO; ED; MRCS 1910; FRCS 1912; MB BS London 1910; MS 1913; LRCP 1910; ChM New Zealand ad eundem; FRACS foundation 1929; FACS; Hon LLD New Zealand; Hon LLD Victoria, New Zealand.

25 July 1885
Wellington, New Zealand
27 February 1979
General surgeon


Duncan Stout was not deterred by having a famous father, Sir Robert, who became Chief Justice of New Zealand, Chancellor of the University and Prime Minister. In his own time he too achieved eminence in New Zealand, becoming Chairman of Council of Victoria University, Wellington and subsequently Chancellor when it separated from the University of New Zealand in 1957, being knighted for his services in 1962. He also served as member of the Senate, University of New Zealand, as council member of Massey Agricultural College, on the Medical Research Foundation of Wellington and as Chairman of Council and President of the New Zealand branch of the BMA.

Duncan Stout was born on 25 July 1885 in Wellington, one of four sons of Sir Robert and Lady Anna (née Logan). Educated at Wellington College he did not follow the family tradition of law but went to Guy's Hospital in 1904 where he won several prizes including the Governor's Gold Medal in medicine. In rugger he was awarded colours for Guy's and the University of London. After working as demonstrator in anatomy and as house surgeon, being influenced by Sir William Arbuthnot Lane, he was resident surgical officer at Wolverhampton Royal Hospital.

In New Zealand, in 1914, he enlisted in the Samoan detachment, the first contingent to go overseas in the first New Zealand expeditionary force, serving throughout the first world war in Egypt, Salonika, France and England as forward surgeon, later as Major, being OC surgical division in a general hospital. He was mentioned in despatches and awarded the DSO and OBE. Twenty years later, in 1940, he enlisted again, aged 54, and as Colonel i/c surgical division in the second New Zealand expeditionary force, served in Egypt, North Africa and Italy. He was mentioned in despatches and awarded the CBE. Subsequently he became the medical editor of the Official history of New Zealand in the second world war 1939-1945 (3 vols), himself contributing to many sections.

Between 1920 and 1940 he was active in private surgical practice and as consultant surgeon to the Wellington and Trentham Hospitals. His clinical and operative skill was matched by ability as a teacher and examiner. He was a founder member of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. In 1945 he retired from active practice and devoted himself to academic activities.

In 1919 he married Agnes Pearce who bore him three sons and a daughter, none of whom entered medicine. Lady Stout predeceased him. He died on 27 February 1979, aged 93.

Sources used to compile this entry: [NZ Med J 1979, 89, 228].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England