Lives of the fellows

John Alexander Tulloch

b.23 April 1921 d.11 October 2008
MC(1945) MB ChB Edin(1943) MRCP Edin(1948) MD(1950) FRCP Edin (1956) FRCP(1974)

John Alexander Tulloch was a consultant physician at Stracathro Hospital, Angus, Scotland. He was born and brought up in Forres, the son of John Tolloch, a cattle dealer, and Helen Sophia Ballantyne née Scrimceour. Tulloch was dux of the academy at Forres, and then went to Edinburgh University to study medicine. He graduated in 1943, six months early to join the war effort as a medical officer with a commando unit. He served in Holland and Germany, fighting from the beaches of Normandy into Germany. He was awarded the Military Cross in 1945 for what he modestly described as “rescuing some wounded from a forward position” at Brachterbeek.

After the war, he turned to medical research and held a post at Cornell University, New York, working with Irving Wright in early pioneering anticoagulation research, before being appointed senior registrar in medicine at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary in 1952. There he worked for Rae Gilchrist [Munk’s Roll, Vol.X, p.164], whom he much admired and whose influence remained with him throughout his subsequent working life.

He and his wife Sheena née Paisley-Whyte, who was a nurse, were married in 1953, two years before he became a senior lecturer at the University College of the West Indies, a position he held until he was appointed professor of medicine at Makerere University College, Uganda.

He returned to Scotland in 1966. As a consultant physician at Stracathro he was instrumental in bringing undergraduate clinical teaching to the hospital, where he taught medical students from the University of Dundee for many years. A meticulous and patient teacher, his ward rounds laid the foundations for many clinical careers. He retired in 1986.

He wrote over 100 medical papers and books, predominantly on diabetes and heart disease.

He was an active athlete and represented his school and university at football (for which he was awarded a university blue) and tennis. He was a committed member of the Church of Scotland and served for over 40 years as an elder, latterly with Edzell and Lethnot Church.

He and Sheena adopted Richard, their fifth child, as a deafblind baby in 1975. Tulloch was a founder member and first chairman of Sense Scotland, a charity for children and adults who have communication support needs because of deafblindness, sensory impairment, learning and physical disabilities. He maintained a lifelong interest in Sense Scotland.

He died following a long illness. He is survived by his wife, three sons and two daughters.

David Dorward
Morag Dorward


(Volume XII, page web)

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