John KirkBMJ 2011; 343 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d4763 (Published 25 July 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d4763
- Rose Kirk,
- J Howard Stevenson
John Kirk was the youngest of four children. His father and mother were medical missionaries in China, and John was born in Edinburgh when his parents were home on furlough.
John Kirk spent most of the first six years of his life in China, with some early schooling at St Leonards in Edinburgh. His parents returned to the UK from China in 1928.
His father, Professor John Kirk, held the Courtauld Chair of Anatomy at Middlesex from 1937 until his retirement in 1949, when the title professor emeritus was conferred by the University of London.
Following graduation from London in 1945, and posts at the Middlesex, John Kirk served as a Royal Navy surgeon lieutenant on HMS Kenya and HMS Porlock Bay on service in the West Indies.
He trained and qualified as a general surgeon, becoming FRCS in 1954. He subsequently specialised in plastic and reconstructive surgery, initially working under Rainsford Mowlem at Northwood, where he developed an interest in burns treatments. In 1955 he moved back to Scotland to Bangour Hospital in West Lothian, where the Regional Plastic Surgery Unit serving Edinburgh and the East of Scotland was based. He underwent further training in plastic surgery under A B Wallace.
The Tayside Plastic Surgery Service originated from a part-time visiting responsibility initiated by A B Wallace at Dundee Royal Infirmary and Bridge …