Lives of the fellows

Robert Woodside Meikle

b.15 September 1920 d.27 January 1980
MB ChB Glasg(1944) MRCP(1949) FRCP(1972)

Robert Meikle, although of Scottish descent, was born in St Helens, Lancashire, the son of James Meikle, an electrical engineer, and Elspeth Woodside. He was educated at Hill House, Doncaster, and Liverpool College before going to the University of Glasgow where he was president of Mackay Hall in 1942 and 1943. After qualification he was house physician to Sir John McNee and house surgeon to Walter Galbraith and Gavin Young at the Western Infirmary, Glasgow. He served as a surgeon lieutenant RNVR 1945 -1947, mainly in the Far East, where he met his future wife, Joan, who was nursing there. After demobilization he returned to Sir John McNee as a registrar where he stayed until he became a senior registrar in medicine in the Sheffield Hospitals in 1954.

In 1959 he was appointed consultant physician to the hospitals in the Goole district, also with sessions in Wakefield, the latter being replaced in 1966 with sessions in Pontefract. He was the only physician responsible for that large area of Yorkshire between Hull in the east, Pontefract and Leeds in the west, York in the north and Doncaster in the south. Without any resident junior medical staff, this remained until the end of his life an extremely arduous post, but Robert never complained about the long hours or frequent night and weekend work - the harder the going, the happier he appeared to be. He also developed the geriatric service in the Goole area. He was regarded as a fine example of a dying breed, a truly general physician.

His services both as a doctor and in other fields were in great demand by the community he served, and for many years he was a member of the Hospital Management Committee, a governor of the Howden County Schools, a commissioner of Income Tax and chairman of the local committee of the Royal Society of Arts. In the little free time that he had, he was interested in gardening, beekeeping, trout fishing and medical history. His last year was dogged with ill health, which he bore with the cheerfulness and fortitude that one would have expected of him.

In 1951 he married Joan McGinley, who survived him together with two daughters and two sons, one of whom followed his father into the medical profession.

JRB Turner

[Brit.med.J., 1980, 280, 597]

(Volume VII, page 390)

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