Dr. John Wilson

Dr. John Wilson (1886 - 1946)

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djw1First Medical Superintendent of Mearnskirk Hospital 1929 - 1946

John Alexander Wilson was born in Ayr on 31st July 1886. He graduated M.B. CH.B. from Glasgow University in 1909.

During the First World War he served with the Royal Army Medical Corps in France and rose to the rank of Captain. He was awarded the O.B.E. for the laboratory research work he did in association with Sir John Rose Bradford.

After the war he joined the Central laboratory of the Corporation of Glasgow and later transferred to the Tuberculosis Service where he was in charge of the Dispensary in Acorn Street in the East End of the City for many years. He was appointed to Mearnskirk in 1929 and also became Senior Lecturer on Clinical Tuberculosis at Glasgow University.

Dr Wilson frequently referred to his years in the East End of Glasgow. He knew the area well and had the highest regard for the people there, many of whom were real characters whose sayings and actions formed the basis for many humorous stories he told in later years.

Sir Alexander Macgregor, the Medical Officer of Health for the City of Glasgow, said of him:

"I know of no man of whom it can be said with greater truth that his work was his life. He loved his hospital and everyone in it; he was rewarded by the deep affection and esteem of staff and patients alike. His happy disposition made him a popular figure especially with his child patients. As Superintendent  he was friendly and accessible, his success being in large degree due to the high personal standard of work and conduct he set for himself, which acted as a stimulus and example.”

Dr Wilson took a great interest in the grounds of the hospital and had several cement statues made and erected in the grounds for the children. Unfortunately they were affected by the environment and began to crumble and Dr Wilson had a wish that they could be replaced by a bronze statue of Peter Pan.


The accessibility and love of his fellow man brought Dr Wilson many friends amongst whom was Alfred Ellsworth who visited the hospital regularly and never came empty handed. He made a promise to Dr Wilson before he died that, “ You will have your Peter Pan.”  Ellsworth raised the funds and the Peter Pan memorial was unveiled in memory of Dr Wilson on 3rd July 1949.

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