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Biographical entry Macdougall, John Arnott (1925 - 1996)

MRCS and FRCS 1956; FRCS Edinburgh 1955; MB BCh Cambridge 1948; M Chir 1961.

18 February 1925
7 November 1996
Dog breeder, General surgeon and Urologist


John Macdougall (known as 'John MacD' to his friends) was born on 18 February 1925 in Blackheath, South East London, where he attended Cherry Orchard Preparatory School, and subsequently the City of London School, where he excelled in both cricket and rugby. He then won an open scholarship to Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, to read natural sciences, and he represented the university at both squash and Eton Fives.

He completed his clinical training at St Thomas's Hospital, qualifying in 1948, and was a member of the team which won the inter-hospitals rugby cup in 1950. He held junior appointments at St Thomas's before becoming a senior surgical registrar there and also at St Peter's Hospital, Chertsey, and completing his urological training at the Institute of Urology in London.

In 1962 he was appointed consultant general surgeon in Wolverhampton, but in 1973 he elected to become a full-time urologist, setting up the department of urology there. He was also visiting surgeon to the West Midlands Spinal Injuries Unit at Oswestry and he finally retired in 1987.

John Macdougall was a skilled and experienced committee man and he played a major role in raising funds to build the new South Staffordshire Postgraduate Medical Centre. He was, however, known to an even wider public through his association with the Kennel Club, of which he became chairman in 1981. During his long chairmanship of fifteen years he completely modernised the Club's activities, as well as supervising the building of a library (which holds the largest collection of reference books on dogs in Europe) and relocating Cruft's dog show from London to the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham. He also established the Kennel Club Charitable Trust, which supports research into canine diseases, canine rescue and the training of dogs for the disabled and he developed a computer database for the registration of over four million pedigree dogs in Britain. He initiated annual meetings with the American Kennel Club and other European societies, and established the Kennel Club Junior Organisation in this country.

With his wife Daphne (a nurse) he bred poodles for a number of years and also found time to serve on the council of the Animal Health Trust, based at Newmarket, which researches into veterinary pathology.

He died aged 71 on 7 November 1996 from carcinoma of the colon, having moved from Wolverhampton to Cambridge, and was survived by his wife and their two daughters, one a consultant gynaecologist at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, the other a general practitioner.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Daily Telegraph 5 December 1996; BMJ 1997 314 683, with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England