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Biographical entry McGrigor, Ronald Buchanan (1920 - 1991)

MBE 1944; MRCS 1942; FRCS 1953; MB BCh Cantab 1949; MChir 1957; LRCP 1942.

1 January 1920
26 October 1991
General surgeon


Ronald McGrigor was born in London on 1 January 1920, the son of Dalziel McGrigor and Dorothy Macgregor Drysdale. His father was a radiologist in the RAMC. He was educated at Stowe School and Trinity College Cambridge, where he passed the Natural Sciences Tripos in 1940 and then went to St Bartholomew's Hospital for his clinical studies. He qualified MRCS LRCP in 1942. After working in the casualty department at Bart's he joined the RAMC and spent four years in the army, in the course of which service he was awarded the MBE (Military Division) and took part in the D-Day landings in Normandy. His unit was one of the first to go to the relief of the Belsen concentration camp.

He returned to Bart's, where he worked in turn for J B Hume and later for Sir James Paterson Ross. In 1948 he was awarded a travelling fellowship by the University of London to study at Ann Arbor University, Michigan, and the work that he did there became the subject of his thesis for the MCh, which was accepted in 1953, the year in which he obtained his Fellowship of the College. He was then appointed consultant surgeon at Redhill Hospital, where he worked until ill health forced him to retire in 1983. He had a replacement heart valve and was then able once again to devote his full energies to the post of Chairman of the Friends of East Surrey Hospital. In this post he dedicated himself to raising enough money to provide a scanner suite which, on its completion in 1991, was named in his memory.

McGrigor was a quiet man of great charm who had a delightful sense of humour. He was married twice, first to June Mary Casswell in 1950, by whom he had three children. His son Alastair entered the RAF legal division. There were two daughters - Fiona, who was a nurse before she married, and Sheena, who became a teacher. His first wife died in 1972 and he then married Elizabeth Emery, née Nicholson, who had two children from her previous marriage.

As an undergraduate he rowed for the 1st/3rd Trinity both on the Cam and at Henley. In his retirement he was a keen skier, hill walker and ornithologist. When the weather was not suitable he took an interest in the restoration of furniture and upholstery. He died on 26 October 1991.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 1992 304 910].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England