John Marnoch

Sir John Marnoch KCVO DL (1867–1936) was Surgeon to the Royal Household in Scotland,[1] Regius Professor of Surgery (Aberdeen) 1909–32 at the University of Aberdeen and President of the Aberdeen Medico-Chirurgical Society, 1909–10.


Marnoch was born in the city of Aberdeen, the son of James Annand Marnoch, a postman from Kintore. Marnoch was educated at Aberdeen Grammar School and thereafter at Kings and Marischal College Aberdeen where he graduated M.B and C.M with highest honours in 1891. On the retirement of Sir Alexander Ogston in 1909 Marnoch was appointed to the regius professorship, a position that he held until 1932.[2]

Marnoch was commissioned as a surgeon-lieutenant in the 1st Aberdeen volunteer artillery in 1895.[3] His military service continued when he was transferred in 1909 as an "a la suite" Officer to the 1st Scot. General. Hospital. Mobilised Lieut.-Col., Aug. 1914. M.O. i/c spec. mil. section (Surgery of reconstruction), 1st Scottish. General Hospital with rank of Brevet-Colonel; Inspector of Tetanus, Northern Area January 1915.[4]

Marnoch was a keen amateur musician and through his friendship with Charles Sanford Terry (historian), professor of history and archaeology at the University of Aberdeen he received the bound final proof of the full score of Edward Elgar's Violin Concerto. Terry was a close friend of Elgar and had been gifted the proof for his help with the proofreading of the concerto.[5]

There is an annual Sir John Marnoch lecture in Aberdeen University medical school.[citation needed]

Operation on the Duke of York

Marnoch had been an army surgeon in the volunteer corps for many years [3] and at the outbreak of war he was commissioned in the 1st Scottish General Hospital RAMC with the rank of lieutenant-colonel (latterly Brevet Colonel). Three weeks after the outbreak of war the Kings Surgeon in Scotland, Sir James Reid, received a call from the Palace asking him to go to Wick in northern Scotland. There he received Prince Albert (‘Bertie’, 1895–1952), second son of the King, and the future King George VI. Prince Albert, who was serving as a midshipman on HMS Collingwood, had suffered from abdominal problems from an early age but on this occasion appendicitis was diagnosed. Reid travelled with the prince to Aberdeen on the hospital ship Rohilla. Marnoch performed an appendectomy on Albert in the Northern Nursing Home, Albyn Place, Aberdeen on 29 August 1914. The prince made a good recovery. He later returned to serve on the ship and thereafter took part in the Battle of Jutland.[6] [7]


  • Knighted KCVO - 1928 [8]
  • Deputy Lieutenants of Aberdeen – 5 April 1930 Brevet Colonel Sir John Marnoch KCVO [3]


  1. ^ "The London Gazette" (PDF). 3 September 1935. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
  2. ^ "Sir John Marnoch, M.B., C.M." BMJ. The BMJ. 1 (3918): 290. 8 February 1936. doi:10.1136/bmj.1.3918.290. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
  3. ^ a b c "The London Gazette" (PDF). 8 April 1930. p. 2255. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
  4. ^ Denis Larionov; Alexander Zhulin. "Read the eBook Roll of service in the great war, 1914-1919 by University of Aberdeen online for free (page 47 of 48)". Retrieved 18 March 2017.
  5. ^ Bryan Adams (Ed.) Elgar and his world Princeton University Press 2007 ISBN 9781400832101
  6. ^ "Royal Connections - Aberdeen Medico-Chirurgical Society". Retrieved 18 March 2017.
  7. ^ "October Highlight - Prince Albert's operation in Aberdeen". University of Aberdeen. Retrieved 16 September 2020.
  8. ^ "No. 33390". The London Gazette (Supplement). 1 June 1928. p. 3851.

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