David Landsborough

BMJ 2010; 340 doi: (Published 26 May 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c2773
  1. Donald Landsborough,
  2. David Landsborough,
  3. Katharine King

    David Landsborough was born of missionary parents in Chang Hwa (Shoka) on the island of Formosa during Japanese occupation, and attended school in Chefoo, North China, before returning to the United Kingdom for his medical training. His first assignment for the Church was as a medical missionary to the hospital in Chuanchow on the Chinese mainland opposite Taiwan. He stayed from 1940 to 1945, then returned to the UK on a Sunderland Flying boat—a trip he always remembered. In 1947 he married Dr Jean Connan, and together they returned to Chuanchow until the Communists over-ran China in 1949, when they had to flee by public transport and on foot to Hong Kong and safety.

    From 1952 to 1980 David worked as a doctor at Chang Hwa Christian Hospital in Taiwan, soon becoming the superintendent of the hospital and also becoming a neurologist. Being a dedicated Christian, he aimed at facilitating the introduction to Taiwan of a health system based on Christian values and best medical practice; this he achieved with the help of many other doctors and staff at the hospital. During his tenancy the old wooden hospital building was demolished and a state of the art facility built in its place—much to his peace of mind, it was earthquake-proof.

    David endeared himself to the Taiwanese people with his calm and gentle manner, enhanced by his ability to speak and write both Taiwanese and Mandarin. Having been born on the island, he had a sense of belonging to it and its people. His death has been deeply felt by Taiwanese of all faiths as they considered him to be truly one of their own.

    On retirement in 1980 David continued with his neurological work as a locum at NHS hospitals near to his home in Coulsdon, Surrey, until full retirement. He travelled extensively globally during this time and was a great support to his family, especially his grandchildren.

    Predeceased by his wife, Jean, in 1993, he leaves three children and five grandchildren.


    Cite this as: BMJ 2010;340:c2773


    • Former medical missionary and superintendent Chang Hwa Christian Hospital, Taiwan (b 1914; q Royal London Hospital 1937; FRCP), d 2 March 2010.

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