Born: December 8, 1918

Died: May 15, 2020.

DOCTOR Donald John Macleod, who has died at the age of 101, was a family doctor in the Yoker and Scotstoun area of Glasgow for 36 years.

His long career started before the commencement of the National Health Service in 1948; this was after his war-time service which, amongst other things, saw him being parachuted into a Japanese prisoner of war camp with medical supplies for the Allied prisoners.

Life was hard as a single-handed doctor in Glasgow the early days and great stamina was required. Apart from a Thursday afternoon off, he was permanently on call and there were evenings when, going out to visit sick patients, there was a thick Glasgow fog and he was obliged to drive while leaning out of the car window following the tram lines to reach his destination.

In those times, home deliveries were the norm and forceps deliveries were sometimes required. Consultant domiciliary visits were not uncommon. The consultant would often go to John’s home before they would go to visit the patient together, and develop a plan for the patient’s care .

Appointment systems were not employed and occasionally patients would queue outside the surgery waiting to be seen.The surgery would only finish when the last patient was seen.

Donald John MacLeod was born in Thurso in December 1918, the second of four sons to parents who were both native Gaelic speakers. The family relocated to Maryhill in Glasgow.

Bilingual at school, a native Gaelic speaker and a lively boy, John excelled in his teens. He had work experience at Accident and Emergency in Glasgow Royal Infirmary whilst still at school.

My father went on to study medicine at Glasgow University, where many Merit certificates were awarded and many lifelong friendships were formed. He also joined the University Officers Training Corps and was once presented to the Queen Mother because of his smart, kilted turn-out.

On the night of the Clydeside Blitz, he walked for miles through the darkened city, a red glow in the sky, checking on the welfare of family and friends.

The day after the Blitz, professional exams were held at the university, and he recalled some students who lived in the Clydebank area arriving late with their clothes covered in dust.

As a student volunteer in a first-aid post in Knightswood, he met his future wife, Catherine. He graduated in medicine in 1941 then worked for a short period in Glasgow Royal before being seconded to Stornoway as a locum family doctor, where there was a shortage of them.

He was called up to the army in 1942 as a captain in the Royal Medical Corps and he obtained a diploma at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine before being posted to Persia to join an Indian Army unit.

From Persia he was transferred to India to join an Indian Parachute regiment. He came home on leave in June 1945 to get married but promptly returned to India to prepare for an airborne assault on Bangkok. This was cancelled when the atomic bombs were dropped on Japan in August 1945, thus endng the war in the Far East.

Demobbed in mid-1946, he joined a family practice as an assistant in Carluke. This was before the start of the NHS: he recalled how the miners contributed six pence a month for comprehensive care but they still received care if they could not afford it.

In 1947 he set up a family practice in the Yoker area in Glasgow and worked there until his retirement in 1983.

Despite the considerable workload John did not waste his spare time. Apart from enjoying time with his growing family he had many interests, including an involvement with the Norwegian community in Scotland, for which he was awarded the St Olav’s medal after his presidency of the Scottish Norwegian Society.

He was a lifelong member of the Western Baths in Glasgow, and as a golf enthusiast he delighted in introducing the game, especially to those who were new to Glasgow .

Holidays often consisted of driving from Glasgow to France and Spain with a VW camper van with not only his children but some of their friends.

In winter, trips were made to ski slopes in the days before ski tows were installed. He was a competent skier who had learnt his skills in the Lebanon during the war.

Fun at Scottish Country Dancing clubs gave way in later years to hill-walking with his dogs and family. He knew the Campsie Fells like the back of his hand.

Towards retirement, he took a hands-on approach in building a house overlooking the sea on the family croft on the Isle of Lewis, and there were enjoyable holidays there for a number of years.

His wife Catherine died in 2015 shortly after they had celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary.

In the last year or so of his life, he enjoyed frequent visits from family and friends. In particular, he loved visits from his two youngest great-grandsons, who appeared in a photograph with him in local newspapers on his hundredth birthday.

Family and friends have described him as kind, erudite and altruistic, a raconteur, and a man whose support and advice was generously given to many.

He is survived by four children, six grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.