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Obituary: John Beocher Scrimgeour

Dr John Beocher SCRIMGEOUR , FRCOG, FRCS (Edin), FRCP (Edin) (Edinburgh)

Members Representative for Scotland, 1976-81

‘Scrim’ as he was known to most, died on February 25, 2014, at the Western General Hospital, where he had worked for 25 years as consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist and latterly as medical director. The bravery he showed during his illness was truly inspiring and he will be greatly missed.

He was born in 1939, the son of a schoolmaster, in Elgin and then moved to Hawick in 1950. Here he developed his life-long love of Rugby which he both played and enjoyed. He graduated in 1962 and was soon married to Joyce who was a nurse at Chalmers Hospital. He was a devoted father to Jill and Michael and subsequently ‘papa’ of his six grandchildren.

He started in General practice and then his love for Obstetrics and Gynaecology got the better of him and he started to specialise. He also had a keen interest in academia undertaking research into the diagnosis of congenital abnormality as well as being a very able teacher. He was a founder member of the Fetoscopy Club of which one or two of Council are current members. He published widely including a major textbook in his area of interest.

He became a consultant in 1973 and Medical Director in 1993. He initiated many service developments that had a major impact on patient care, particularly those with cancer and his only real disappointment was losing the battle to keep the O&G Unit at the WGH open and it closed in the early 1990s.

On retirement he moved to the country where he became a keen gardener and as I remember, he also bought a yacht since his town house which he sold on his retirement. It was very beautiful and I think is now several flats. He was also a very keen golfer and spent much time at the nearby Bruntsfield golf club and I do remember on one occasion him rupturing an Achilles tendon allegedly climbing out of a bunker but I can’t remember if it was before or after lunch!

I have reason to be grateful to him as he gave me an SR job for which I was interviewed whilst pregnant at a time when this wasn’t quite as common as it is now. I was even allowed some maternity leave before starting. He also took me to my only Rugby International as he had done with all his SRs and I was not allowed to exempt myself on the grounds of gender, or that I think the ticket was wasted on me particularly as Scotland won versus England.

He was a major player in O&G and will be sorely missed.