Obituaries - G

Obituaries - G

Robert Campbell Garry

Professor Garry died on 16th April 1993 after a prolonged illness. He was born into a family with north-east Scotland connections at the beginning of the 20th century. His father was a botanist and head science teacher at the Girls' High School of Glasgow. He received his main school education at Queens Park School, a typical Scottish traditional education. He matriculated at the early age of 16 as a medical student at the University of Glasgow in 1917, during the carnage of the First World War, when the needs of the Country for medical practitioners were very great. He was an industrious, brilliant student and he graduated MB, ChB with Honours in 1922. He was awarded the Brunton Memorial Prize for the most distinguished student of his year. Read more about Robert Campbell Garry

Norman Gash

Norman Gash was born on 16th January, 1912, in Meerut, India, where his father Frederick Gash, a professional soldier, was serving with the Royal Berkshire Regiment, a regiment long-associated with India.  He was always proud of being born where the first mutinies in the Bengal Army had broken out in 1857.  When he was only a few months old the family returned to the UK and lived successively in Portsmouth, Dublin and Reading because of his father’s postings.  From 1919 - 1923 he attended Wilson Road School and Palmer School in Reading, winning a scholarship to Reading School in 1923.  At Reading School, which had a traditional connection with army families, Norman specialised on the classical and language side with Latin, French and English literature his best subjects.  Because of an outstanding history master, J. W. Saunders, in 1927 he switched from V classical to VI modern to concentrate on history.  In 1929 he won a Sir Thomas White scholarship to St. John’s College, Oxford. Read more about Norman Gash

William George Nicholas Geddes

With the death of W G N Geddes on 10th November 1993 the civil engineering profession lost one of its most distinguished and respected members of the post war years. George Geddes was born in the village of Oldhamstocks, East Lothian on 29th July 1913 and was elected to the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1975. His schooling was at Dunbar Grammar School where he was Dux in 1931. His parents died in his infancy, his father, an architect being killed in the First World War. He was brought up by his grandfather and two aunts and he often expressed how fortunate and indebted he was to them for the guidance, care and affection he received from them. Read more about William George Nicholas Geddes

James Clark Gentles

In 1947 Carl Browning, the very distinguished Professor of Bacteriology in the University of Glasgow, decided to establish a unit specialising in fungal diseases of humans (Medical Mycology) in his department in the Western Infirmary. To realise that aim he turned, not to a medical, but to a young man, James Gentles, who had graduated with a First Class honours degree in Botany, held a Distillers Company Scholarship, and was a lecturer in Botany in the University of Glasgow. At that time, the study of fungal diseases of plants played a major part in the Botany honours course. Read more about James Clark Gentles

Sir Alexander Gibson

Alexander Gibson was born in Motherwell on 11 February 1926 into a family that was not especially musical. As a pupil at Dalziel High School the young Alex appeared as the Major-General in The Pirates of Penzance and it was soon clear that he was exceptionally gifted. He went with friends on Saturday nights to hear the Scottish Orchestra, as it then was, in St Andrew's Hall, Glasgow. His early musical education took place at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and, at the age of 17, he became Organist at a nearby Congregational church. At Glasgow University he graduated with an MA in English Literature and Music. Read more about Sir Alexander Gibson

Thomas Gibson

Tom Gibson, Emeritus Professor at the University of Strathclyde, pioneer of plastic surgery and bioengineering, died on Saturday 13th February 1993 in the Western Infirmary, Glasgow after a short illness. He was 77. He was born in Kilbarchan, Scotland, on 24th November, 1915. Following his schooling in Kilbarchan and Paisley Grammar Schools, he received his medical degree with commendation from Glasgow University in 1938 and became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh in 1941. From 1942 to 1944 he was assistant surgeon in the Medical Research Council's Burns Unit in Glasgow Royal Infirmary. In 1944, he joined the Royal Army Medical Corps as a maxillofacial surgeon; served first in North Europe and lastly as Commanding Officer of No 1 Indian Maxillofacial Unit. After his demobilisation as a Major in 1947, he was appointed Consultant Plastic Surgeon to the West of Scotland Plastic and Oral Surgery Service, based at Glasgow Royal Infirmary. He was Director of the Service based at Canniesburn Hospital, Glasgow from 1970 until his retirement in 1980. Read more about Thomas Gibson

Francis John Gillingham

Born in Dorchester, England, on 15 March 1916, Francis John Gillingham, or John as he preferred, was educated at The Thomas Hardye School, Dorchester, Dorset and studied medicine at London University and St.Barthomolomew's Hospital, where he won prizes in surgery and obstetrics. After graduation, he joined the Royal Army Medical Corp and was deployed for 18 months in Sir Hugh Cairns’ 'crash course’ in all aspects of neurological trauma.  Gillingham later became commanding officer of the number 4 Neurological Surgical Unit in the Middle East and Italy – the 'Nomadic Surgeons'.  Read more about Francis Gillingham

Ronald Haxton Girdwood

Ronald Haxton Girdwood, who died on 25 April 2006 in his 90th year, achieved much during his career in Academic Medicine.  A graduate of Edinburgh University Medical School in 1939, he was Professor of Therapeutics at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh (1962–82), Dean of the Faculty of Medicine (1975–79), and President of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh (1982–85).  An unassuming, modest and gentle man, he nonetheless had a dogged determination to succeed.  In his autobiography, Travels with a Stethoscope (1991), he describes the moment, standing alone in the doorway of the Chemistry Department, when it occurred to him to attempt to graduate with Honours. Read more about Ronald Girdwood
This obituary was first published by The Royal College of Physicians. [RCP Edin OBIT] Obituaries Spring – 2006.
Reproduced by permission of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh

Roland Stanley Glover

Roland Stanley Glover (nicknamed "Ro" by close friends) was born in Manchester on 9 June 1922. He was educated at Leeds and Manchester Grammar Schools and went on to Manchester University where he was awarded a BSc in Zoology, Botany and Chemistry in 1944. This was followed by war-time studies into insect infestation of imported food grains carried out under C. E. Lucas (later Sir Cyril Lucas) at the University College Hull (1944-1946). His research was recognised by appointments first as Scientific Officer then as Honorary Lecturer in the Departments of Oceanography and Zoology at Hull. Ro Glover was then recruited in 1950 to the Edinburgh Oceanographic Laboratory (EOL) of the Scottish Marine Biological Association (SMBA), to work on Sir Alistair Hardy’s Continuous Plankton Recorder (CPR) surveys. Read more about Roland Glover.

Professor Sir Abraham Goldberg

Professor Sir Abraham Goldberg, who has died aged 83, was one of the most outstanding physician scientists of his generation. Known to all as Abe, Abraham Goldberg was born to immigrant parents from Lithuania and the Ukraine. He excelled throughout his life as a doctor, scientist, teacher, mentor, supporter of good causes and as a dedicated family man. Read more about Sir Abraham Goldberg

June Beatrice Mary Gordon. (The Marchioness of Aberdeen and Temair)

Throughout her long life, June Boissier, the Marchioness of Aberdeen and Temair, remained quintessentially the effective and hugely enthusiastic music teacher which she had once been, at the Bromley High School for Girls in the three years before the Second World War. As Marchioness she became chatelaine of the beautiful house of Haddo, near Ellon in Aberdeenshire, which since 1974 has been in the care of the National Trust for Scotland. She was musical director of the Haddo House Choral Society, now the Choral and Operatic Society, for 60 years. "What she is like as a Marchioness, I do not know," the late violinist Yfrah Neaman told me on a Parliamentary visit to the Guildhall School of Music. "What I do know is that at Bromley and subsequently she has been an inspirational leader and teacher of music." Read more about June Gordon
This obituary was first published in The Independent on 24 June 2009. Reproduced by permission of The Independent

William Morrison Gordon

Bill, as all his colleagues knew him, was an Aberdeenshire man by birth. He attended Inverurie Academy briefly, and then moved to Robert Gordon’s College, Aberdeen (1946-50), where he was modern languages dux. He held a bursarship when he did his MA at Aberdeen, graduating in 1953. As was quite common at that time, he did his law degree at Aberdeen at the same time as his legal apprenticeship, completing both in 1955, when he was admitted solicitor. Read more about Bill Gordon

Sir Norman Graham

Norman Graham was born in 1913 in Dundee but his roots were very firmly in the West End of Glasgow, where he was raised and educated. His father had moved from Dumfriesshire to Glasgow to train as a marine engineer and worked at sea for several years. During the Great War his ships operated under naval direction; one was torpedoed off the Scillies while another served at Gallipoli. After the war Norman’s father became a partner in a firm of engineers in Glasgow. Read more about Sir Norman Graham

Adrian Maxwell Grant

Adrian Grant began his career as an epidemiologist in 1980 in the National Perinatal Epidemiology Unit (NPEU) in Oxford where he established the most productive perinatal trials research group in the world, the Perinatal Trials Service, and was awarded a Doctorate. He created an electronic publication – The Oxford Database of Perinatal Trials – so that reviews could be updated as new evidence became available or mistakes identified and it was this pilot that led on to the international Cochrane Collaboration. IN 1994 he moved to Aberdeen as Director of the Health Services Research Unit (HSRU), where he raised the level of clinical trial methodology in Scotland and internationally to the level whereby HSRU, with its sister unit HERU, was top of British health research in the Research Reference Framework in 2008.  Throughout all his work he was deeply committed to involving patients and clinicians in the research and to producing real benefits for patients. He wsa elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2006. In 2006 he became the first Programme Director of the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR), and over the next six years established the programme as a prestigious funding source for leading health services research teams focused on delivering research findings that will have practical application for the benefit of patients in the relatively near future. He continued his commitment to patients as an adviser to the James Lind Alliance. Read more about Adrian Grant.

Douglas Grant

Douglas Grant was born in Edinburgh on 6 January 1918, the second (and longest survivor) of three children of Robert Grant (1878–1959) FRSE and Jane Ierne Grant (née Robertson; 1884–1963), a family of educational publishers and booksellers. He was educated at George Watson’s College (1923–35) and then became a budding actuary employed by the Scottish Widows Fund and Life Assurance Society (1936–39). He also volunteered for the Territorial Army and in 1938 became a Second Lieutenant, in the 4th Heavy Regiment Royal Artillery. From 1939–46 he was in the Royal Artillery, initially in the UK (Coast Artillery: Inchgarvie) and then 1942–4 in West Africa, becoming Lieutenant-Colonel in 1943 and Regimental and Garrison Commander of the Takoradi base, SW Gold Coast (Ghana), an important staging post in the war for RAF planes flying to Egypt and Atlantic anti-submarine patrols. In 1945–6 he was on the staff of the Eastern Command and posted as a staff officer to Wales. He earned the Territorial Decoration and bars. During the war he was elected to the British Ornithologists’ Union. Read more about Douglas Grant

James Kerr Grant

Dr James Kerr Grant - Jim or simply ‘JKG’ as he was known to his staff – died on 6 January 2004 at the age of 87 after a short illness. Jim Grant was born in Dundee, educated in Edinburgh and spent most of his working life in Glasgow. He graduated as a chemist, and after service in the Second World War he started work in the Biochemistry Department at the University of Edinburgh with Professor Guy Marrian, who introduced him to steroid biochemistry. It was the 1950s and Jim played a significant role in working out the pathways of adrenal steroidogenesis and the enzymes that control the process. In 1956 he spent a year in Professor F Lynen's Laboratory in the Max Planck Institute for Cell Chemistry in Munich honing his steroid expertise. Read more about James Kerr Grant

James Shaw Grant

James Shaw Grant was born on 22 May 1910 in Stornoway, Isle of Lewis. He died on 28 July 1999, aged 89. In this long life he established reputations in several different fields of activity – journalism and literature, drama, and administration. He was a major influence on the life of the Highland and Islands in the last century. After school at the Nicolson Institute, James graduated MA at Glasgow University in 1931, with distinctions in English, Mathematics, History and Political Economy. In 1932 he followed his father as Editor of The Stornoway Gazette, a role which spanned 31 years and provided the base on which his reputation and influence was built. His own strong sense of community was given powerful expression in the newspaper, and was important in sustaining local morale through very difficult times for the island. In 1943 he was appointed Secretary of the Lewis Association, playing a major part in articulating the aspirations of the island community and editing a series of comprehensive reports on the social and economic problems of the island. Read more about James Shaw Grant

Matthew Alistair Grant

The death of Alistair Grant at the relatively young age of 63 was not unexpected. He had been fighting cancer and was forced to resign as governor of the Bank of Scotland in 1999 and as chairman of Scottish & Newcastle Breweries last year, due to ill-health. But he remained one of Scotland's most influential businessmen. Grant was born in 1937 and educated at Woodhouse Grove School in Yorkshire. He was subsequently commissioned in the Royal Signals during his National Service. In 1958 he joined Unilever as a management trainee, moving to J. Lyons & Co in 1963 and Connell May & Steavenson in 1965. His big chance came in 1968, when he became an executive director of Fine Fare at the invitation of its chief executive James Gulliver. Read more about Alistair Grant. This obituary was first published by The Independent. Reproduced with permission from The Independent.

George William Gray

George Gray was an outstanding and pre-eminent organic chemist who became the world’s leading authority on liquid crystal materials for use in displays.  He invented the first stable liquid crystal materials that enabled the LCD technology used in televisions, laptop and tablet computers, mobile phones, iPods, digital clocks and watches and many other items of electronic equipment.  He was also inspiring, enthusiastic and a true gentleman, blessed with Scottish charisma, a great sense of humour and considerable modesty. Born in Denny, Scotland, to John and Jessie Gray in 1926, George picked up an enthusiasm for chemistry and molecules from his father, who owned a pharmacy in the town.  This led him to study chemistry at Glasgow University, graduating with a BSc and, at the behest of Brynmor Jones, moving to University College Hull - then part of the University of London - in 1946 to resurrect their chemistry laboratories after the war.  Under the tutelage of Brynmor Jones, George became fascinated by materials called liquid crystals, which were neither crystals, nor liquids, but a new, so called “mesomorphic”, phase of matter.  Their existence had been known since 1888, but there was almost no detailed academic knowledge about the molecular structure and properties of such materials.  He was invited to stay on at Hull, as an Assistant Lecturer, and to commence research on liquid crystals for his PhD, which he received from the University of London in 1953 for a thesis entitled “Mesomorphism of Aromatic Carboxylic Acids”.  That same year, George married Marjorie Canavan and they remained together and raised their 3 daughters in Hull.   Having achieved his PhD, George progressed, through Senior Lecturer and Reader at Hull, to become Professor of Organic Chemistry in 1978 and then GF Grant Professor of Chemistry in 1984.  Read more about George Gray

John Raymond Greening

Born in Richmond, Surrey in 1992, John started work at the National Physical Laboratory, Teddington, Middlesex in 1940 and was was heavily involved in the war effort. Recognising the need for further qualifications, he enrolled for a course of evening classes at Battersea Polytechnic to study for a London University degree in physics. He and his friend, Peter Tothill cycled from Teddington to Battersea and back, sometimes to stand guard on the laboratory overnight with the Home Guard. The Blitz made life more difficult.  At its height the nominal three evenings a week was cut to Saturday afternoons only.  When it was threatened that the course would have to be extended to six years instead of five, due to insufficient practical work, John and Peter devised their own course of experiments, to be carried out during lunch hours at the NPL.  This provided valuable experience and achieved the desired result. It also demonstrated to them that physics can be fun.  John graduated in 1945 with first class honours, unprecedented for part-time study.  His great regret during the war was that the Official Secrets Act precluded him telling his father, an army veteran of the Boer and First World Wars, what he was doing and his father took a dim view of John not joining the services. Read more about John Greening

Richard Langton Gregory

Richard Langton Gregory was descended from a long line of academic Gregories. The first was the illustrious James Gregory of Aberdeen (1638-1675), who invented the Gregorian reflecting telescope and developed the calculus. Richard’s father, Christopher Clive Langton Gregory, was Director of the University of London Observatory at Mill Hill, and Richard retained the family interest in astronomy. Read more about Richard Langton Gregory

David Cunningham Greig

David Greig was born on 16th February 1922 in Glasgow. Although the family moved soon afterwards to nearby North Renfrewshire, David was educated at Glasgow High School, where contemporaries recall the ease with which he coped with exams and how he developed a natural fluency in languages, ancient and modern. With this background David went to Glasgow University where he started an Arts course; although the beginning of the war was due to intervene. At University David joined the recently formed Mountaineering Club, reflecting and perhaps reinforcing his interest in the outdoors. Read more about David Cunningham Greig

Sir Robert Grieve

Sir Robert Grieve was born in Glasgow on 11th December 1910. The two greatest influences on the young Bob were his mother – ‘a caged tigress’ as he later described her – and his uncle Tom. His uncle took him on ‘enormous walks’ in the countryside beyond the City's tram termini, where he first saw ‘the hills of the Campsies in the distance, and once far away the bulk of Ben Lomond’. His mother's ambition that he should ‘get on’ were fulfilled in part as the result of the values he learnt from her and his uncle – a critical and questioning mind, book-loving, and nature-loving. He was rarely able to speak of Tom without being moved to tears. Bob Grieve was trained and qualified first as a civil engineer in the then Royal College of Technology and then as a planner. Employed by Local Authorities between 1927 and 1944 he later claimed that there was a time when he was one of only two qualified planners in Scotland. Between 1944 and 1946 he was a major influence on the Clyde Valley Regional Plan, especially in developing a planning framework for the overspill of population from Glasgow into new towns, emphasising the need to create viable communities as well as new centres for economic development. Read more about Sir Robert Grieve

Ivor Reginald Guild

With the death at the age of 90 of Ivor Guild, the people landscape of Edinburgh will miss a spare, tall, upright figure, walking through the streets of the New Town and Old Town like a figure from Lord Cockburn’s memoirs. Clad in his inevitable raincoat, come sunshine or showers, he would doff his hat in the style of 19th century society to his many, many friends and acquaintances as he walked his way between his Princes Street home, in the New Club – he was one of its Batchelor Permanent Residents for 57 years – to the Charlotte Square, Castle Terrace and Lothian Road offices of the distinguished solicitors, Shepherd and Wedderburn; Guild had been picked for his integrity and discretion by the discerning Professor Sir Ernest Wedderburn, Deputy Keeper of the Signet, for whom he was to work with great discretion for many clients from 1948 until 1994, becoming senior partner in 1984. First published by The Independent, 8 February 2015. Reproduced with permission from The Independent. Learn more about Ivor Guild.

James Gerald Gulliver

James Gulliver was among the most gifted Scottish businessmen of his generation, combining an acute and wide ranging intelligence with prodigious energy and drive. During his years as a top manager and entrepreneur he captured the interest of the City and excited the financial press through the scale and diversity of his commercial activities. Between 1973, when he formed his first investment vehicle, and his death twenty three years later, there was scarcely a year in which he did not initiate a number of high profile bids, mergers, investments and acquisitions. His most substantial achievement was the formation and development of the company now named Safeway plc, but known for nineteen years as Argyll Group plc. From the unpromising base of a modest investment in a Manchester meat business with very small profits and sales of around £20 million per annum, Gulliver and his team grew a company which reported in 1997 sales of over £7 billion, and profits of £420 million with a market capitalisation of £4 billion. Read more about James Gerald Gulliver

Sir John Currie Gunn

John Currie Gunn was born in Glasgow on 13 September 1916 into a well-known Glasgow family. After being an outstanding student at Glasgow University and Cambridge University followed by wartime scientific research and early academic posts, he was appointed to the Cargill Chair of Natural Philosophy in Glasgow University in 1949. He held that post until his retirement in September 1982 and thereafter continued to live in Glasgow until his death on 26 July 2002. Read more about Sir John Currie Gunn

Norman Gash

Norman Gash was born on 16th January, 1912, in Meerut, India, where his father Frederick Gash, a professional soldier, was serving with the Royal Berkshire Regiment, a regiment long-associated with India.  He was always proud of being born where the first mutinies in the Bengal Army had broken out in 1857.  When he was only a few months old the family returned to the UK and lived successively in Portsmouth, Dublin and Reading because of his father’s postings.  From 1919 - 1923 he attended Wilson Road School and Palmer School in Reading, winning a scholarship to Reading School in 1923.  At Reading School, which had a traditional connection with army families, Norman specialised on the classical and language side with Latin, French and English literature his best subjects.  Because of an outstanding history master, J. W. Saunders, in 1927 he switched from V classical to VI modern to concentrate on history.  In 1929 he won a Sir Thomas White scholarship to St. John’s College, Oxford.


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