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Biographical entry MacLaughlin, Francis Alexander (1899 - 1984)

VRD 1940; MRCS and FRCS 1926; MB BCh BAO Belfast 1921; Hon FRCSI 1977.

27 May 1899
4 May 1984
ENT surgeon and Ophthalmic surgeon


Francis MacLaughlin was born in Belfast on 27 May 1899 the only child of Alexander, a banker, and Elizabeth (née Brown). He was educated at Campbell College and Queen's University, Belfast, qualifying with honours in June 1921. He embarked on a career of otorhinolaryngology, but also ophthalmology, being at one time in the Royal Ophthalmic Hospital, London. He became FRCS in 1926. In the second world war he was, as Surgeon Commander RNVR, senior ophthalmic surgeon, Scotland, and then in the Nore Command, Chatham Royal Naval Hospital. He was a member of the RNVR for 20 years, being awarded the VRD while at Chatham. His clinical consultant career was entirely in Belfast and he also served as Chairman of the Royal Victoria Hospital, as President of the Ulster Medical Society and as President of the Irish Otolaryngological Society. He was elected Honorary FRCSI in 1977.

He was an accomplished man with wide interests including ornithology, archaeology, philately, numismatology, model railways but especially in model ship building. He built over 100 finely detailed models, many of which were displayed in his consulting rooms; part of the collection is now housed in the Ulster Transport Museum. He had a great love of the countryside and a walk with him was an enriching experience.

On 3 October 1933 he married Florence Clokey and they had two sons and one daughter, none of whom took up medicine. He died on 4 May 1984 aged 84, his wife having predeceased him by only a few weeks.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1984, 289, 504 with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England