Material relating to Tours of Duty with Colonial Medical Service, in Sierra Leone and Solomon Islands
Scope and Contents
- Correspondence: c.197 letters from Sierra Leone, 1951-1957;
- Correspondence: c.613 letters from the Solomon Islands, 1957-1975;
- Tour reports to the Chief Secretary of the Western Pacific High Commission, 1960-1964;
- Police Medical/Postmortem Reports to the Sierra Leone Police, c.200 in number;
- Original book-file cover in which the Police Reports had been archived;
- Sierra Leone Protectorate Handbook, 1954.
In the material relating to the Solomon Islands, there is a pamphlet about postal information issued by the Orient Line for the vessel SS Oronsay. Many of the early pieces of correspondence are written on Orient Line aerogrammes.
An edited version of all Macgregor's letters are contained on a CD within the collection.
Language of Materials
Biographical / Historical
After graduation, Macgregor worked in general practice in Perth and Bridge of Earn before becoming House Physician at Perth Royal Infirmary. In 1951, he was appointed as House Surgeon at the Royal Northern Infirmary in Inverness. Prior to his 'call up' to National Service he was serving at Scartho Infirmary (Grimsby District General Hospital) in Grimsby, north-east Lincolnshire, England. At this point, he joined the Colonial Medical Service and towards the end of 1951 he began a first tour of duty in Freetown, Sierra Leone (know then as the Sierra Leone Protectorate), at the Connaught Hospital there. By the age of 25 Macgregor had become Assistant Surgeon at the hospital. He also ran the Mental Hospital at Kissy which, even in 2006, is the only psychiatric facility in Sierra Leone. This first tour of duty lasted until March 1953.
Macgregor's second tour of duty began with his appointment as District Medical Officer for Makeni District at its population of some 360,000 most of whom were spread over a very wide area. Assisting him were two doctors and an American missionary. This second tour lasted until the end of 1954 when he joined the Colonial Service as a permanent and pensionable officer. In April 1955, Macgregor married a student from Edinburgh and the couple then travelled back to Freetown where he was to serve at the Hill Station Hospital (now called Choithrams Hospital). In 1956 he was posted to Magburaka in the Tonkolili District of Sierra Leone and to a new hospital there.
Promotion followed, and Macgregor was posted to the Solomon Islands (then known as the British Solomon Islands Protectorate) as Senior Medical Officer. The journey to Honiara, the capital of the Solomon Islands, on Guadalcanal, took two months by an Orient Line vessel - SS Oronsay - to Sydney, then tramp steamer. While on the Solomon Islands three children were born to the family.
In 1975 Macgregor returned to the UK with his family to take up an appointment as Chief Medical Officer for the Shetland Islands - the Shetland Health Board. In 1981 he became District Medical Officer in Perth - Tayside Health Board. He retired in 1993. In retirement he has acted as secretary for a variety of bodies and has also been Medical Officer for Tayside Fire Brigade and for Fife Fire and Rescue Service.
- Coronations |
- Elizabeth II, Queen of Great Britain, 1926-
- Fasts and feasts | Islam |
- Id al-Fitr |
- Macgregor, Dr., James D., b. 1927 (Senior Medical Officer for Colonial Medical Service, Chief Medical Officer with Shetland Health Board, District Medical Officer with Tayside Health Board)
- Orient Steam Navigation Company, ltd.
- Oronsay (Ship)
- Physicians (General practice)
- Public health administration |
- Sierra Leone |
- Solomon Islands |
- Material relating to Tours of Duty in Sierra Leone and the Solomon Islands with the Colonial Medical Service, 1951-1975