John Robert Stephen Innes

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 27 March 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e2082
  1. Michael J Williams

John Robert Stephen (“Donny”) Innes was born into a distinguished Aberdeen medical family, his father being a physician and his mother a city GP.

On completing his medical training he enlisted in the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC) and served for a period in Germany. On demobilisation he returned to Aberdeen and joined his mother in practice, where he worked until age 70.

He was the epitome of the old fashioned GP, having intimate knowledge of all their medical, personal, and family problems and being available to them at all hours. For 30 years he was also medical officer to HM Craiginches Prison in Aberdeen, and in that capacity he had to attend the last public hanging in Scotland in 1963—an experience that he did not enjoy. On retiring from practice, he then worked for 5 years as part time medical officer with Shell UK in Aberdeen.

He was well known nationally for his prowess on the rugby field. Between 1939 and 1948 he was awarded eight Scotland caps and would certainly have had more had it not been for the intervening war years. He was captain of Scotland during an historic 6-3 win over England at Murrayfield in 1948, leading to his name being inscribed for posterity on the Calcutta Cup. He then served Scottish rugby in various administrative capacities and was president of the Scottish Rugby Union in season 1973-74. He regularly attended Murrayfield until the year before his death. He was also a keen golfer and for over 50 years was an active member of the Aberdeen Medico-Chirurgical Society.

Predeceased by his wife, Peggy, he leaves a son, a daughter, and two grandchildren.


Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e2082


  • Former general practitioner, Aberdeen (b 1917, q Aberdeen 1940), died from cerebrovascular disease on 21 January 2012.

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