Lives of the fellows

John Lowther Milligan

b.28 March 1927 d.24 September 2014
MB ChB Cantab(1950) MRCS LRCP(1950) DPhysMed(1956) MRCP Edin(1966) FRCP(1981)

John Milligan was a consultant in rheumatology and rehabilitation in east Dorset. He was born in West Malling, Kent, and was educated at the Perse School, Cambridge, where his father, Hugh Cairns Milligan, a retired Royal Navy chief petty officer, was the caretaker. He was awarded a county scholarship to study natural sciences at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, where he continued a sporting passion for tennis and hockey, and sang as a bass in the college choir. He carried out his clinical studies at St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical School, qualifying in 1950.

He held junior posts at St Bartholomew’s and, in 1952, joined the RAF, initially for his National Service. John was stationed at the rehabilitation units of Chessington, Collaton Cross, then Ely and Nocton Hall, where he worked with Kit Wynn Parry [Munk’s Roll, Vol.XII, web] and many others in restoring the health of wounded servicemen. A career in rehabilitation and rheumatology had begun.

In order to gain his MRCP, John worked in general medicine and rheumatology at RAF Changi in Singapore, before being posted to Halton Hospital and then to his last RAF post, as a wing commander, at Headley Court.

In 1968 he became the first consultant in rheumatology and rehabilitation for east Dorset, planning and developing the service for Poole and Bournemouth and the surrounding areas, and shaping the future for integrated care. During the next 20 years, he enjoyed a busy and rewarding career and was joined by two additional rheumatologists, John Harding and Chris Moran [Munk’s Roll, Vol.XII, web]. A specialist rehabilitation and rheumatology unit was built at Christchurch Hospital.

John was chairman of several committees, including the Poole and Bournemouth disablement advisory committee.

A kind and considerate physician, he was highly respected by his patients and also by his colleagues, who appreciated all he had taught them.

In 1952 he married Doreen Mason. They had a son and three daughters. On his retirement, John was able to enjoy his hobbies of competitive dingy sailing and singing in several choral societies.

Andrew Foote

(Volume XII, page web)

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