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Dr John McMullan: 1927-2016 (1944, Natural Sciences)

John McMullan matriculated in 1944, entering Trinity Hall from Oundle School to read Natural Sciences at the age of seventeen years. He found himself in the company of several other old Oundelians and he seems to have relished the many opportunities of student life in Cambridge. After graduation in 1947, John went on to St Thomas’s Hospital Medical School where he qualified with M.A., M.B., B.Chir in 1950, followed in 1957 by an M.D. by thesis on obesity in General Practice.

John retained many happy memories of his Cambridge years, returning often for college reunions, contributing to fundraising and enjoying lifelong connections with several close friends, including Edward Jones, ‘Willie’ Walker, Andrew Thornton and Ray Alberga. He represented his college in rowing and a painted oar held pride of place in his surgery and later at home, proud momento of a successful Bumps in 1947.

John was born in Leicestershire in 1927, son of a Birstall GP Dr Alexander McDonald McMullan and his wife, Violet Ruth (nee Tucker). He had one sister, now Sheila Ervin, who lives in Rutland.

After medical school, he served as Surgeon Lieutenant, RNVR, then 2nd Medical Officer at the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth, before joining his father in General Practice in Leicester. After a period in London working in hospital administration, then as a Medical Advisor for the BBC, John moved into partnership in General Practice in Chesham, Bucks, where he combined several medical roles with his career as a respected ‘old school’ family doctor. He published a number of papers in medical journals, won two travelling fellowships to study in USA and Canada and was an active member of his professional bodies, including becoming a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, President of the General Practice Section 1979-80 and Provost of the Thames Valley Faculty 1979-1981.

In retirement, he seized the opportunity to develop his many deeply held interests including everything to do with boats, rivers and the sea, travel (the two brought together as Ship’s Doctor on Swan Hellenic cruises) and campaigning for better disability care in the community. Not least was his role as a loving family man.

His death was preceded by that of his wife of 60 years, Pat, in 2014. From 2011, John battled a stroke and vascular dementia with admirable vigour and courage. He leaves one daughter, her husband and three grandchildren.

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