Alick Cameron

BMJ 2013; 347 doi: (Published 04 September 2013) Cite this as: BMJ 2013;347:f5031
  1. Charlotte Higgins

Alick Cameron (“Sandy”) was born in India, where his father was serving as a doctor in the Indian Medical Service. Aged 5 he returned home for schooling, mostly as a boarder. Soon after qualifying, national service took him to Palestine for two years, where he served as a captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps. After the end of the British mandate, Sandy felt compelled to return to the Middle East and volunteered to go to Jordan for 18 months with the Red Cross, where he had medical charge of a Palestinian refugee camp of 17 000.

On returning to the UK he completed his hospital jobs and became a general practitioner with a special interest in opthalmology in Southborough, Tunbridge Wells. He married and had four children—Julia, Ewen, Alison, and Angus. Later, in 1980, he remarried, this time to Angela and a few years later, Charlotte was born. It was at this time that his interest in medical history began, and he completed a postgraduate diploma in medical history. In 1988, Sandy retired and the family moved to Trusham, Devon, where he immersed himself in village life, local history, and writing, and, until a good age, playing tennis and bridge. He returned to India twice, visiting his much loved Nainital, where he grew up.

Over the years his interests spanned the breeding of ornamental birds, exotic butterflies, and moths; bonsai (exhibiting at the Chelsea flower show); sailing; collecting antique medical instruments; travelling the world; searching for and photographing wild orchids; studying medical history; researching and writing for the Dictionary of National Biography; honorary archivist to Lord Clifford at Ugbrooke House; choral singing; and performing on stage in many varied and entertaining guises. In 1988 he published A Surgeon’s India, Diaries of Lt. Col Alexander Cameron, about his father’s life in the Indian medical service, and through his historical research he wrote Thomas Glass M.D. Physician of Georgian Exeter in 1994; The Journal of the Reverend James Darbyshire, a worker-priest of the 18th century (written in old dutch and hieroglyphics, which Sandy interpreted) in 1998; The Book of Trusham, A Parish Patchwork, to celebrate the millennium in 1999; and Charles Causley’s Trusham Relatives in 2011. He was a fount of knowledge about local history and always welcomed visitors to the village researching family history.

Sandy will be remembered as a gentle and charming man of great depth and kindness, a true gentleman who led his life in a remarkable and dignified way to the end. He leaves his wife, Angela; five children; seven grandchildren; and an inspiring legacy to those who were privileged to know him, an incredible life well led.


Cite this as: BMJ 2013;346:f5031


  • Former general practitioner (b 1922; q Edinburgh 1946; MD, DO, MRCGP, DHMSA), died from metastatic prostate cancer on 17 June 2013.

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