Lives of the fellows

Malcolm Eliot MacGregor

b.13 September 1916 d.21 December 2013
MB BS Lond(1938) MRCP(1943) MD(1946) DCH(1947) FRCP(1960)

Malcolm MacGregor was a consultant paediatrician in Warwickshire. He was born in London, the son of Malcolm Evan MacGregor, an entomologist and director of the Wellcome Entomological Field Laboratory at Esher, Surrey, and Marguerite Muncey, a doctor from Washington, USA. He had a brother, Gerry, who went on to become a consultant physician in Guildford. MacGregor was educated at Milbourne Lodge in Esher, and then went to Westminster and St Thomas’s Hospital Medical School. He faced considerable financial hardship after his father died in 1933 and his mother in 1940, but was able to continue his studies after receiving a Lord Kitchener National Memorial Fund scholarship (which obliged him to serve in the Navy for five years after qualifying).

He qualified MB BS in 1938, was a casualty officer and house physician at St Thomas’ and joined the Navy in September 1939, just as the Second World War was beginning. He served at Haslar Hospital, Plymouth, and was then deployed on HMS Havant, which was attacked by air at Dunkirk and then sunk by a British destroyer to prevent it from being taken by enemy forces. MacGregor then served on HMS Albatross and spent 18 months in Freetown, West Africa. He then moved to the East Africa Naval Air Station at Tanga, Tanganyika.

He was demobilised in 1946 and went back to St Thomas’ as a registrar in medicine. He then joined the paediatric department at St George’s Hospital, and was subsequently first assistant in the paediatric unit at St Mary’s Hospital. In 1948, at the start of the NHS, he was appointed as a consultant paediatrician to the South Warwickshire Hospitals, based at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. He worked there until he retired in 1976. From 1956 to 1957 he was seconded to the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, to help establish a paediatric department in a new university hospital.

He was president of the paediatric section of the Royal Society of Medicine in 1967. He wrote papers on a diverse range of topics, including malaria in London children, renal calcification, tuberculous meningitis and primary renal acidosis.

In 1944 he married Marigold Ancred Morris, whom he had met in Tanganyika. They had one son (Philip) and two daughters (Nicola and Marguerite). MacGregor had a long and happy retirement. He and his wife, a painter, lived at Pittern Hill Farm near Kineton and then moved to Badby, Northamptonshire. He read widely, enjoyed films and exhibitions, and loved music. Predeceased by Marigold in 2010, he was survived by their three children and eight grandchildren.

RCP editor

[BMJ 2014 348 1611 – accessed 27 January 2016]

(Volume XII, page web)

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