Obituaries Mac/Mc

Obituaries Mac/Mc

Sir Donald McCallum: Industrial leader

An MP, in the nature of his responsibilities, gets to know the boss of a factory which employs hundreds of his constituents at a high technical level pretty well. For 17 years, from 1968 to 1985, when he was the general manager of the important Scottish House of Ferranti's, and in direct charge of the new huge, then state-of-the-art factory at Crewe Toll in Edinburgh, I had monthly dealings with Donald McCallum. He was quiet, softly spoken, somewhat taciturm, a technically supreme and managerially competent leader of industry. The union officials and shop stewards would acknowledge that McCallum was straight and always courteous to them, and would punctiliously honour any agreement. McCallum was, equally, accorded respect by his senior managerial colleagues, some of whom, like Bill Gregson, were themselves heavyweights in the UK's industry affairs. McCallum commanded authority in Scottish industry. Learn more about Sir Donald McCallum  This obituary was first published by The Independent on 16 November 2011. Reproduced with permission of The Independent.

Charles William McCombie

Charles McCombie was born in Monifieth, Angus, in September 1926. He was fortunate to be brought up in a close family where his parents, recognising his ability and the value of a good education, gave him constant encouragement. He won a place at Robert Gordon’s College, Aberdeen, and then attended the University of Aberdeen from 1944 to 1948, initially intending to take a degree in Chemistry but switching to Mathematics and Natural Philosophy at the end of his second year. After graduating with First Class Honours in 1948 he continued in Aberdeen as a research student supervised by Professor R. V. Jones. He started on a project in solid state physics but was soon diverted into providing the theoretical analysis to back up his supervisor’s experimental study of methods of enabling detectors to achieve close to the ultimate limit of accuracy set by inevitable thermal fluctuations. More about More about Charles William McCombie

Sir William Hunter Mccrea

Sir William Hunter McCrea, always known as Bill, had a scientific career which spanned most of the great revolutions of 20th century astrophysics and cosmology. He made important contributions to essentially all aspects of these disciplines. Bill was born on 13 December 1904 in Dublin, Ireland. In 1906, the family moved to England and they settled at Chesterfield where Bill was educated at Chesterfield Grammar School. He went up to Trinity College, Cambridge in 1923 and had a brilliant career there as Wrangler, Rayleigh Prizeman, Sheepshanks Exhibitioner and Isaac Newton Student. In 1926, he began his post-graduate studies with R H Fowler, which culminated in his key discovery that, contrary to prevailing prejudice, most of the mass of the Sun and stars is in the form of hydrogen. More about Sir William (Hunter) McCrea

James Alexander Macdonald

James Alexander Macdonald (popularly known to his colleagues and friends as Jay) was born on 17th June 1908 in Dingwall, Rosshire and died in his 90th year on 26th April, 1997 in St Andrews where he had spent most of his working life. His father, also James Alexander Macdonald, was a graduate in Experimental Physics from the University of Edinburgh and became the first rector of the new Leith Academy in 1897 when he was also elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and eventually retired as HM Chief Inspector of Schools for the Highland Division. The Macdonald family of three sons and two daughters were all active in learning and public service. Agnes received an OBE for editing the 1972 edition of Chambers Twentieth Century Dictionary, Margot taught music at Aberdeen High School for girls and Robert followed his father’s footsteps in becoming an Inspector for Schools and finally became Assistant Secretary in the Department of Education and was the author of Scottish Pioneers of Education Overseas (1981). More about James Alexander MacDonald

Douglas Maurice MacDowell

Douglas MacDowell occupied the Chair of Greek in the University of Glasgow from 1971 to his retirement in 2001, the longest period of office of any Glasgow Professor of Greek since Edmund Lushington, Tennyson' s brother-in-law, retired in 1877. Read more about Douglas MacDowell

Douglas MacLean Clark MacEwan

Douglas M. C. MacEwan was born in Edinburgh on 20 June 1917, and died on 12 March 2000 in Hythe, Kent. He entered Edinburgh University at the age of 16, and in 1941 obtained his PhD in crystallography under the direction of Dr Arnold Beevers for his thesis on “A machine for the rapid summation of Fourier series” (1939-1941). This was a completely new research area at that time, as Dr Beevers, who worked with W.L. Bragg, still points out today, at the age of 92. After obtaining his doctorate Douglas joined the Macaulay Institute of Soil Research, Aberdeen, in 1941, to work on Xray crystallography of clay minerals, which was to be his area of research throughout his scientific career. Both the theoretical and experimental aspects of his work had an impact internationally. At the Macaulay he worked with Robert Mackenzie, who became a brilliant instigator of research into these minerals with differential thermal analysis, and also a lifelong friend. More about Douglas MacLean Clark MacEwan

Ewen McEwen

Of Ewen McEwen's personal characteristics perhaps the least expected was his staunch Scottishness. Born in Paraguay on 13 January 1916 he spent all of his professional working life in England where he held major engineering posts before retiring in 1980 from Lucas Industries. In 1976-77 when at the pinnacle of his professional engineering activity he was President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. Over and above his ancestry, the other factor which directly influenced his love of and fervour for Scotland was the period of his schooldays in Edinburgh at Merchiston Castle School. Not only did he visit Scotland subsequently whenever practicable, but as McEwen of Balingeoch he was often heard proudly declaring his legal domicile in Scotland. More about Ewen McEwen

Edward McCombie McGirr

Edward McGirr’s vision, breadth of knowledge and prodigious energy enabled him to play a crucial role in the development of academic medicine and the National Health Service in the 1960s and 1970s. Educated at Hamilton Academy and the University of Glasgow, he had house jobs at the Royal and Western infirmaries in Glasgow before entering the RAMC in 1941 and serving in India, Burma, Siam and Indo-China. His war experience was very influential in his development. In particular, it made him suspicious of parochialism. He later said: "I think that it is important to realise that many people have different ways of looking at things, different attitudes, different philosophies. I believe that my years spent with the RAMC made me personally more tolerant." Read more about Edward McGirr

Sir Ian McGregor

Ian Alexander McGregor, was born in Cambuslang, Lanarkshire on 26th August 1922 into a family of modest means. His father was a respected tailor, his mother a thrifty housewife who ensured that, despite their modest means, the years of economic depression in the late 1920s and 1930s impacted little on the family who were always well fed and well dressed. His parents had a deep respect for education and it was no surprise that following a happy but undistinguished schooling at Rutherglen Academy, Ian aspired to follow his older stepbrothers into University. His schooldays had engendered a dislike of mathematics that, surprisingly for such an able scientist, remained with him throughout his career. He entered his final year at grammar school at the outbreak of the Second World War in 1939 and, while conscription seemed likely at the end of his schooling, he was persuaded by his family to consider further education. For a time he was unsure whether he should pursue a career in human or veterinary medicine, and by the time he had made up his mind in the summer of 1940 it was too late to secure a place at the University of Glasgow. One of his stepbrothers, a specialist surgeon, persuaded him to apply for one of the extra-mural colleges and so Ian attended his first classes at the St Mungo College and the Glasgow Royal Infirmary in October 1940. Determined to be as good and knowledgeable a doctor as he could, Ian secured the class medals in Anatomy, Physiology, Surgery, Obstetrics and Gynaecology and Public Health with Certificates of Merit in seven other subjects. More about Sir Ian McGregor

Douglas Haig McIntosh

Douglas Haig McIntosh, known to many of his friends simply as Mac, died on 13 March 1993. He was born in Leven, Fife, into a large family of seven boys and two girls. His academic abilities were evident from an early stage, doing well at school and going on to St Andrews University, where he obtained an MA and the top first of his year in Physics. On leaving university at the start of World War II, he joined the Meteorological Office, beginning a life-long interest in the fascinations of the atmosphere. He immediately took up weather forecasting duties with RAF Coastal Command, moving to Calcutta in 1943 as Senior Meteorological Officer with responsibility for Bengal and Burma, and later, as Deputy Chief Meteorological Officer, for SE Asia. For these duties he had the RAF service rank of Squadron Leader. More about Douglas HaIg McIntosh

Alasdair Duncan McIntyre

Alasdair McIntyre, a Scottish marine biologist, born in Helensburgh in 1926, died in Aberdeen on 15 April 2010, after a short illness.   In his long and eventful life, Alasdair travelled many different roads, following his many interests along pathways that sometimes led to unexpected destinations.  

The starting point for his lifelong intellectual and scientific interests was the family home in Helensburgh.  The Hermitage School, his first school, was close by, as was also the rocky seashore where Alasdair and his brother, Gordon, spent many hours exploring the pools for shrimp and limpets. Read more about Alasdair McIntyre

Donald Bertram McIntyre

Donald Bertram McIntyre was born at Edinburgh on 15th August 1923, the second child and elder son of Rev. Robert Edmond McIntyre, then minister of Orchardhill, Giffnock.   His mother was Mary, daughter of Dr Thomas Brown Darling and Jessie Walker.   The family moved to Edinburgh on R.E. McIntyre’s translation to Morningside High Church in 1935.   Having started his schooling in Giffnock, Donald moved in Edinburgh to George Watson’s College.  In 1939 he and his brother were evacuated to Speyside where he became Dux of Grantown Grammar School in 1941. More about Donald Bertram McIntyre

Very Rev Professor John McIntyre

One of the most distinguished Scottish theologians and churchmen of his generation, John McIntyre (1916–2005) served both the University of Edinburgh and the Church of Scotland in important ways. A talented pupil at Bathgate Academy, McIntyre confirmed his early promise as a student in Edinburgh, graduating MA with first class honours in Philosophy and BD with distinction. His studies under the philosopher Norman Kemp Smith and the theologian John Baillie were to leave an indelible mark on his contribution as a teacher and scholar. More about The Very Rev John McIntyre

Robert Cameron MacKenzie

Robert McKenzie (affectionately known as Mack to many of his colleagues) was one of our most eminent and distinguished clay mineralogists and thermal analysts, with an international reputation in both fields that brought him many honours and awards. He was instrumental in developing the Macaulay Institute for Soil Research in Aberdeen as a centre of excellence in soil mineralogy, particularly emphasizing analytical aspects, and played a key role in establishing clay mineralogy as a separate sub-discipline of the mineralogical sciences both in the national and international arenas. He was a pioneer is establishing thermal analysis as an accepted technique to be applied to a wide variety of materials in many different areas of study. He died on 4 July, 2000 following a short period of hospitalization. More about Robert Cameron Mackenzie

Lord MacKenzie-Stuart Of Dean

Alexander John Mackenzie-Stuart, Judge; born Aberdeen 18 November 1924; Advocate (Scotland) 1951; Queen’s Counsel (Scotland) 1963; Keeper of the Advocates‘ Library 1970-72; Sheriff Principal of Aberdeen, Kincardine and Banff 1971-72; Senator of the College of Justice 1972; Judge of the Court of Justice of the European Communities 1973- 88; President of the Court 1984-88; created Baron Mackenzie-Stuart of Dean 1988; married Anne Millar (four daughters); died Edinburgh 1 April 2000. More about Lord MacKenzie-Stuart of Dean

Donald MacKenzie MacKinnon

Donald MacKenzie MacKinnon, a Fellow of the Society since 1984, died in Aberdeen on 2 March 1994. He was born on 27 August 1913 in Oban, where his father, originally from Tobermory, was Procurator Fiscal. He was educated at Cargilfield School in Edinburgh and, as a scholar, at Winchester College. From Winchester he went in 1932 as a scholar to New College, Oxford, graduating with a First in Litterae Humaniores in 1935. He remained for a further year to study Theology; and in 1936 he won the John Locke Prize in Mental Philosophy. His teachers at Oxford included H H Price, R H S Crossman, Isaiah Berlin, H W B Joseph, A H Smith, R G Collingwood and Gilbert Ryle, and in Theology, R H Lightfoot, A M Farrer, C H Dodd and F L Cross. More about Donald Mackenzie Mackinnon

Daniel Stewart MacLagan

Dr Daniel MacLagan, a distinguished agricultural zoologist, died on 3 February 1991 at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Edinburgh. He was born on 3 June 1904 at Williamstone Farm, Madderty, Crieff, a farm in which he retained an interest and involvement throughout his life. After acquiring an honours degree in agricultural zoology in 1928, MacLagan was awarded a Ministry of Agriculture Scholarship which allowed him to continue his studies, first at the Parasite Laboratory, Imperial Institute of Entomology, followed by a year at Harvard University. More about Daniel Stewart Maclagan

Anne Laura McLaren

Dame Anne McLaren, who has died aged 80 in a car accident while travelling with her former husband Donald Michie from Cambridge to London, was one of Britain's leading scientists in the fields of mammalian reproductive and developmental biology and genetics. Her research in the basic science underlying the treatment of infertility helped develop several human-assisted reproduction techniques. Her work also helped further recognition of the importance of stem cells in the treatment of human disease. As she put it, she was interested in "everything involved in getting from one generation to the next". Both of these areas raise serious ethical issues, and Anne was a leading contributor to the debates in the UK needed to develop acceptable public policy regulating them. Among her many honours, she was the first woman to hold office as vice-president and foreign secretary in the more than 300-year-old Royal Society. Read more about Anne McLaren

First published in The Guardian, 10 July 2007. Reproduced with permission of The Guardian

Sorley MacLean

Sorley MacLean was born at Oscaig in the Island of Raasay on 26 October, 1911, and died in Inverness on 24 November, 1996. He was the second child in a family of five brothers and two sisters who all went on to Higher Education and distinguished themselves as scholars, teachers and doctors. Of his forebears, the Macleans had lived in Raasay for a number of generations, but were believed to have come ultimately from Mull, most probably after a sojourn in North Uist. His father’s mother’s family were Mathesons who originally came from Lochalsh on the mainland. His mother’s people were Nicolsons from Skye, and MacLeods of Raasay origin who had moved to Skye. More about Sorley MacLean

Roderick Norman McIver MacSween

Born on 2 February 1935 in Kinloch, Lewis, a son of the manse, Roderick Norman McIver MacSween was a native Gaelic speaker. He studied at the University of Glasgow and graduated BSc with Honours in Physiology in 1956 and MB ChB in 1959. He was President of the University Liberal Club. He was Education Secretary of the British Medical Students’ Association. After house jobs in the Professorial Units at Glasgow’s Royal and Western Infirmaries, he gained experience in clinical medicine, notably in infectious diseases and virology, and became a member of the Royal College of Physicians of both Glasgow and Edinburgh in 1964. In 1963 he joined Professor D F Cappell’s department of Pathology at the Western Infirmary and soon specialised in liver disease. Read more about Sir Roddy MacSween. This obituary was first published by the University of Glasgow and is reproduced with permission from the University of Glasgow


Robert McWhirter

Professor Robert McWhirter, Forbes Professor of Medical Radiology at the University of Edinburgh 1946–70, died on 24th October 1994 aged 89, in the Western General Hospital Edinburgh after a stroke. He had been born on 8th November 1904. Robert McWhirter was distinguished for development of modern radiotherapy and treatment of cancer in Scotland, for advances in treatment of breast cancer, and for founding and building up the Department of Radiotherapy in the Western General Hospital, Edinburgh. More about Robert Mcwhirter


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