Nottingham Hospitals History



1877 - 1958.

President of the Nottingham Medico-Chirurgical Society

1930 - 1931

Joseph Wilkie Scott M.C.- 40, The Ropewalk, Nottingham. M.B. (1916) M.B., ChB. Glasgow (1898) M.D. Glasgow (1902) M.R.C.P. (1919) F.R.C.P.(1933). Honorary Physician, Children’s Hospital, Nottingham & General Hospital, Nottingham. Captain, Royal Army Medical Corps (Volunteers) 7th Battalion, Sherwood Foresters; Member of the Nottingham Medico-Chirurgical Society. Late, Clinical Assistant, Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children; House Physician & Senior Resident Medical Officer, General Hospital, Nottingham; House Surgeon, Monkwearmouth Hospital.

Medical Directory 1934.


A native of Airdrie, Joseph Wilkie Scott was one of the three sons of a schoolmaster, Alexander Scott, who all entered the medical profession. His mother was Elizabeth (Wilkie) Scott. He received his medical education at Glasgow University, and after holding house appointments at the Nottingham General Hospital went into partnership in general practice in the city. This phase of his career was cut short by the First World War, in which he became medical officer to the 7th Battalion of the Sherwood Foresters (Robin Hood's). While serving in France in 1916 he was awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous gallantry in action. On his return to civilian life he quickly achieved the Membership of the Royal College of Physicians of London, and was elected honorary assistant physician to Nottingham General Hospital, and later honorary physician to both the General and Children's Hospitals. Henceforth his work was chiefly, and later entirely, in consulting medicine - general and paediatric. He loved both equally and would have hated to abandon either for the other. Very soon he acquired a well-deserved reputation for clinical skill and soundness of judgement, not only in the city and county, but more widely, and a large consulting practice was soon added to his extensive hospital work.

Dr. Joseph Wilkie Scott's association with Nottingham began in 1899 with his appointment as assistant house physician, was interrupted by his retirement in 1946 from consulting practice and from his unique position as honorary physician to the General and Children's Hospitals and visiting physician to the Nottingham City and Mental Hospitals.

Possessed of a clear and penetrating mind, he quickly got to the heart of a problem. He was an excellent teacher so that his outpatient clinics and his ward-rounds on a Sunday morning at the General, and a Thursday Afternoon at the Children's, became tutorials. Practitioners owe much to his encouragement, and who continued thereby to be still in his department and to be able to recall vividly cases demonstrated to them by Wilkie Scott. His enthusiasm in the quest of the right diagnosis, and in the most certain means of achieving it, was best seen at open clinical meetings, where he would marshal his facts and arguments with the skill of an advocate. He was, too, a good committee man who would give his opinion firmly and who was frequently left to do the drafting of some difficult proposition. Above all he was a loyal and kindly colleague with a saving sense of humour.

His was a life of many activities and many labours and some much-prized honours. He was a staunch supporter of the Nottingham Medico-Chirurgical Society, as a member of its council, for two long spells its honorary secretary, and in 1930 its president. His presidential addresses attracted a record attendance. Arrangements for a provincial meeting in Nottingham of the paediatric section of the Royal Society of Medicine about 1928 were almost entirely the work of Joseph Wilkie Scott, and the meeting was adjudged something of a personal triumph. His eminence as a physician was acknowledged by his election to the College Fellowship, and as paediatrician by his holding the presidency of the British Paediatric Association in 1938. Though not greatly drawn to medical politics he held it to be his duty to take his share of the toil and sweat. He was chairman of the Nottingham Division of the British Medical Association in 1929-30, and president of the branch from 1938 to 1940. Earlier he served as a vice-president of the section of diseases of children when the Association held its annual meeting in Nottingham in 1926. His recreations were tennis, golf, and chess - particularly golf, which at certain frugally fixed times could be interfered with only by the direst medical emergency and never by the weather.

In 1926 he married Dr. Marjorie Godfrey, whom he first met as his house physician at the Nottingham Children's Hospital. She shared his life and his enthusiasms to the full and was throughout his professional life a wonderful support. It was always a delight to be in their company, whether at a formal party or over a cup of tea after a medical meeting. Alas, soon after Dr. and Mrs. Scott left Nottingham in 1946 for retirement to Yoxford in Suffolk, Mrs. Scott's health declined and was pitiably bad for three years before her death in 1956. Though broken by years of anxiety and by his wife's death, Wilkie Scott made new friends in the county of his adoption and maintained his activities - golf, postal chess, and correspondence with old friends and colleagues - and after three or four months before his death appeared to be in good health. His colleagues and a host of friends and grateful patients regarded him above all as a kindly soul of a warm if somewhat shy nature, a most loyal and devoted colleague, a great physician, and one whom it was a privilege to call a friend.

Joseph Wilkie Scott, M.C., M.D., F.R.C.P.

 James Wilkie Scott joined the Royal Army Medical Corps 1/7th Sherwood Foresters (Robin Hoods) in 1913. Mobilised August, 1914. In France for four and a half years. Two years in the trenches. Finally in charge of the medical division of a base hospital.

 To quote from two adventures from the History of the Robin Hoods, 1914-1918. The first one is the occasion of the disastrous attack on the Hohenzollern Redoubt in which both 1/7th and 1/8th Sherwood Foresters were engaged.

 "The casualties very greatly exceeded the number anticipated and consequently Captain Scott was working at very high pressure, the Dressing Station being at all times under continuous shell fire. It would be impossible to speak too highly of the services rendered by him during the attack, and the wounded who were taken to the Dressing Station will always remember with gratitude the tender and expeditious manner in which they were treated before being sent to the rear."

 The second occasion was the even more disastrous attack on Gommercourt. Here everything possible seems to have gone wrong. The mud in the trenches was so deep that supports and carriers were literally sinking fast and could not get up. The smoke screen failed and the attacking force, including Captain Scott, found themselves in the open before the German trenches without any protection.

 "Of the 27 Officers and 600 men who went into action only 90 men came out. Of the 27 Officers only 7 were unwounded. Twelve were killed and 8 wounded. Captain Scott was among the lucky ones to be unwounded.

 Captain Scott managed to get back to the advanced British trench. Here he stayed all day, organising the defence of the trench, taking charge of the men, as well as attending to the wounded.

 The Brigadier-General recommended him very strongly for the D.S.O. and later he was awarded the M.C. for most conspicuous bravery shown on this occasion and for the very excellent work he had done with the Battalion since their landing in France."

 Later Captain Scott was appointed in charge of a medical division in a base hospital with the rank of Major.

 Dr. Scott was not actually a member of the Honorary Medical Staff at this time. He had been House Physician to the Hospital. he was elected Honorary Physician to the Children's Hospital. He was elected Honorary Physician to the General Hospital in 1919. Later he was elected President of the British Paediatric Association, 1938, as a tribute to his good work in that branch of the profession.

Quoted from the book

A History of the General Hospital near Nottingham


Frank Jacob.

(Pages 250, 251)