Nottingham Hospitals History



1897 - 1974

President of the Nottingham Medico-Chirurgical Society

1949 - 1950

Ian Robert Spark: 9a, The Ropewalk, Nottingham. M.B., Ch. B. Aberdeen, 1921. Honorary Anaesthetist, Nottingham General Hospital.

Medical Directory 1949.


Ian Robert Spark, a son of the manse, was born in Kincardineshire on 6th March, 1897. During the first world war his medical studies at Aberdeen University were interrupted while he served for two years as a surgeon probationer in the Royal Navy. He then returned to the university, graduated in 1921, and went to Nottingham as an assistant. Later he set up in general practice on his own. He developed a great interest in anaesthetics and eventually was appointed to the City Hospital as a consultant anaethetist, other appointments to the General Hospital, Women's Hospital, and Children's Hospital soon following. After the inception of the National Health Service he took his full share of committee work to help to formulate the new concept in the Nottingham area and served as chairman of the medical committees at the City and General Hospitals. A past  president of the Nottingham Medico Chirurgical Society, he was one of its most ardent supporters. He was also a founder member and first president of the Nottingham and East Midlands Aberdeen Graduates Association.

Ian Spark worked at all the Nottingham hospitals during the period from the days of chloroform and ether to well into the era of modern anaesthesia. From the early thirties he was an exponent of spinal and epidural anaesthesia and until he retired he kept abreast of modern developments. He enjoyed working with children, with whom he achieved an immediate rapport aided by a chiming watch hidden in his clothing or the bed. A great sportsman, he had been in his youth a robust rugby forward, playing in five Scottish trials, and after settling at Nottingham he played for some years for Nott’s Rugby Club. He was an excellent shot, but most enjoyed salmon fishing at which he was successful and accomplished. At Nottingham he made an immense number of friends of all ages, and they, with the many patients who have cause to be grateful for his skill and care, mourned his passing. His first wife, whom he married in 1924, died eight years before him. His son and daughter both qualified in medicine at Aberdeen University. Shortly before he died he married Miss Jane Holloway, who had been his nurse, companion and housekeeper for several years.

B.M.J., 30th November, 1974