b.14 May 1878 d.20 November 1965
BA Dubl(1900) MB BCh BAO Dubl(1901) MA Dubl(1903) MD Dubl(1903) MRCP(1913) FRCP(1931)
John Collins was the third son of Thomas Richard Setford Collins, B.D., a brilliant scholar, who was secretary and chaplain to the Archbishop of Dublin, and Mary Louise, daughter of the Rev. Gibson Black, rector of Inch in Wicklow. From Rathmines School, Dublin, he entered Trinity College, where he had a brilliant career, graduating with first class honours in arts and medicine, and winning the senior exhibition of the College, the medal of the Dublin University Association and the prizes in clinical medicine and jurisprudence. After holding the posts of resident medical pupil and resident medical officer at Sir Patrick Dun’s Hospital and developing the interest in pathology and bacteriology which coloured his future activities, he obtained a resident post at the Cheltenham General Hospital before setting up in private practice.
Soon, however, realising the need for pathological services in the area, he went up to St. Mary’s Hospital in London to continue his studies under Almroth Wright. By 1920 he had built up a large practice and was appointed assistant physician to the General Hospital which he served with distinction and devotion until 1938. In addition he became a fellow of the International Society of Medical Hydrology at the time when the spa waters of Cheltenham were very popular; for some years he gave an annual course of lectures on medical hydrology at his parent college.
He was consultant to the hospitals of Evesham, Tewkesbury and Cirencester and to the Cheltenham College, the Ladies’ College and the Dean Close School, as well as chairman of the schools’ medical boards, and president of the Cheltenham Science Society in 1924 and 1925, and of the Gloucestershire branch of the British Medical Association in 1926.
Collins still found time for non-medical activities; he was a keen golfer, a member of the Cheltenham Steeplechase Club and a regular attendant at all local school Rugby matches. A brilliant thinker, with compassion and charity for his less fortunate fellow-men, but intolerance for the stupid and the lazy, he gained the respect of his colleagues and the affection of his patients. In 1907 he married Agnes Mary, daughter of Francis Brandt, a judge of the High Court in Madras. They had three daughters.
Richard R Trail
[Brit.med.J., 1965, 2, 1492; Gloucestershire Echo, 23 Nov. 1965.]
(Volume V, page 80)
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