Lives of the fellows

Douglas Hamilton MacLeod

b.9 May 1901 d.11 January 1970
MRCS LRCP(1925) MB BS Lond(1926) MRCP(1927) MS(1928) FRCS(1928) FRCP(1938) FRCOG(1939)

Douglas MacLeod’s father was a general practitioner in Bayswater, and Douglas was born at 76 Ladbroke Grove, W11, being the second son in a family of 3 boys and 2 girls. Both his grandfather and his father were Fellows of the Royal College of Surgeons, and his greatgrandfather had been Surgeon-General in the Madras Presidency of the East India Company Service. His mother was Edith Budd-Budd, whose father lived at Birch Grove, Twickenham, and Brighton.

Douglas was educated at Hailebury College and entered the Middlesex Hospital in October 1920, qualifying with the Conjoint Diploma in 1925. He graduated MB BS in 1926 and served as house surgeon to Mr. (later Lord) Webb-Johnson, and as house physician and resident obstetric officer, obtaining his MRCP in 1927. After a year as medical registrar at the Middlesex Hospital he was appointed RMO at the Chelsea Hospital for Women, and then obstetrical and gynaecological registrar at the Middlesex. He successfully passed the examination for the Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons, was awarded the MS of London University and in 1938 was elected a Fellow of the RCP. He was Hunterian Professor of the RCS in 1946, and President of the Obstetric Section of the Royal Society of Medicine in 1958. He was elected FRCOG in 1939, having been elected to the staff of St. Mary’s Hospital, W2 in 1935. At the Middlesex Hospital, MacLeod was a pupil of Sir Victor Bonney and at St. Mary’s Hospital he was the junior member of an outstanding gynaecological team made up of A.W. Bourne, L.H. Williams and himself. He was later appointed to the staff of the Putney Hospital, Queen Charlotte’s Hospital and the Royal Marsden.

With Sir Charles Read he wrote a text book of gynaecology and was one of the authors of Ten Teachers Midwifery and Diseases of Women and of Queen Charlotte’s Textbook of Obstetrics. He was an authority on endometriosis and wrote a number of articles on this and other subjects in the medical journals.

MacLeod’s chief interests were music and fishing. He was an accomplished pianist and was especially fond of Bach and Brahms. He was at his happiest in the country where he loved bird-watching and the peace of the river side at his mill house on the Frome near Dorchester in Dorset. He was fond of pictures, furniture and architecture, enjoyed books on English history, and read from the plays of Shakespeare every night in bed before going to sleep. As a surgeon he was a gentle and meticulous operator, and his opinion was widely sought both in England and other countries.

MacLeod was a modest and supremely sympathetic man whose warmth, friendliness and simplicity endeared him to his patients and especially to his younger colleagues and students. As a young man he had been a keen rugby footballer and played for his Hospital, his County, and the Harlequin RFC as a three-quarter.

He married on April 26th, 1933 Lesley Frances Ronaldson, whose father was an artist and portrait painter living in Campden Hill. They had two sons and one daughter.

MacLeod died suddenly in his consulting room at 61 Harley Street at the end of a full day’s work, and was taken to the Middlesex Hospital, where he had first begun his medical training.

TC Hunt

[Brit.med.J., 1970, 1, 370,573; Lancet, 1970, 1, 318; Times, 4 Feb 1970]

(Volume VI, page 320)

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