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Dr William Douglas





The news of the death of Dr. William Douglas, at the age of nearly 84, will be received with great regret by a wide circle of friends in the British Medical Association, for he was for many years one of the best known and best liked members of the Representative Body. He was, in fact, the only man who had been a member of that Body and had attended every meeting from its commencement in 1903 up to the meeting at Cardiff last year, aind during the whole of that time he represented the Maidstone Division.

William Douglas was the son of Alexander Douglas of Belfast, and was born in that city in 1845. He was educated at Queen's College, Belfast, and in the University of Edinburgh, and took the degree of M.D. of Queen's University of Ireland in 1869. He was for some years in practice at Leamington, and after a time devoted himself entirely to tho private treatment of mental disease. He was a member of the Royal Medico-Psychological Association and of the Society for the Study of Inebriety. He travelled very considerably, residing at one time professionally at Madeira, and acting also as a surgeon on the Cunard Line. He took a keen interest in all branches of tlhe profession, and everyone who knew him will remember him as a most interesting conversationalist. But he will chiefly be remembered for the very active part he took in the Irish Medical Schools' and Graduates' Association and in the British Medical Association.

Dr. Douglas was recognized as the mainspring of the former society, and was iever seen to greater advantage thani in the organization and carrying out of its dinners and luncheons. He was for a long time secretary of the society and had been its president; but the mere mention of his official connection with the body conveys little impression of the keen interest he took in it, and the affection which he inspired amongst his colleagues. He was an active member of the British Medical Association for fifty years; taking a prominent part in the many meetings at the time of the reconstruction of 'the Association at the beginning of the century, and was a strong supporter of those who believed that the Association would be best served by placing it on a more democratic basis. He took little part in any of the central work of the Association, but was very influential in his own area, and could always be relied upon to do anything within his power for the Association. He was at one time President of the Kent Branch. During recent years he resided at Staines, but advancing age caused no deterioration of his marvellous memory of Association affairs or diminution of his interest in them.


His grandson was Keith Castellain Douglas (1920–1944), the war poet.



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Last modified: Friday, 17 May 2024