George Masterton

BMJ 2007; 334 doi: (Published 04 January 2007) Cite this as: BMJ 2007;334:49
  1. George Masterton,
  2. Robert Masterton

    George Masterton left school at 15 to become a professional golfer but quickly realised he wasn't good enough and “put down the clubs and picked up the books.” Following qualification he was designated unfit for active service because of poor vision; however, he managed to enlist in the Royal Air Force after memorising the eye test cards. His first war duties were as a golfing partner for senior officers in the Home Counties. Dissatisfied with this contribution, he requested an overseas posting and served in the Far East from 1942 to 1946 as a medical officer to fighter squadrons. His experiences had profoundly paradoxical effects—witnessing war atrocities troubled him for many years, whereas managing the gamut of venereal diseases proved inspirational and career defining.

    George took up a consultant post in Glasgow in 1965 and remained there for the rest of his career. At a time when “VD” was not regarded as a valid specialty he was a tireless champion for the cause, nationally and internationally, but he derived greatest pleasure enthusing to junior doctors and undergraduates about his specialty. George invariably posed without a smile for photographs, but this disguised an easy warmth, good humour, and friendliness. Following retirement in 1982 he and Mary, his wife for 58 years, moved to Fife, where they enjoyed long holidays, gardening, and above all their family. He leaves a wife, three children and their spouses, nine grandchildren, one great granddaughter, and the fondest memories a man can give.


    • Former consultant venereologist Glasgow (b 1917; q St Andrews 1940; DPH), died from metastatic prostate cancer on 14 November 2006.

    View Abstract

    Sign in

    Log in through your institution

    Free trial

    Register for a free trial to to receive unlimited access to all content on for 14 days.
    Sign up for a free trial