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Significant Scots
Sir George Ballingall

BALLINGALL, Sir GEORGE, M.D. (1780-1855), regius professor of military surgery at Edinburgh, was son of the Rev. Robert Ballingall, minister of Forglen, Banffshire, where he was born 2 May 1780. He studied at St. Andrew’s, and in 1803 proceeded to the university of Edinburgh, where he was assistant to Dr. Barclay, lecturer on anatomy. He was appointed assistant-surgeon of the 2nd battalion 1st Royals in 1806, with which he served some years in India; in November 1815 he became surgeon of the 33rd foot, and retired on half-pay in 1818. In 1823 he was chosen as lecturer on military surgery at the university of Edinburgh, which then, and for some years afterwards, was the only place in the three kingdoms where special instruction was given in a department of surgical science, the importance of which had too plainly been demonstrated during the long war just ended. In 1825 Ballingall succeeded to the chair of military surgery, the duties of which he discharged with untiring zeal for thirty years. He was knighted on the occasion of the accession of King William IV. Sir George, who was a fellow of the Royal Societies of London and Edinburgh, and corresponding member of the French Institute, was author of various professional works, the most important being: 1. ‘Observations on the Diseases of European Troops in India.’ 2. 'Observations on the Site and Construction of Hospitals.’ 3. ‘Outlines of Military Surgery.’ The last, which is still regarded as an instructive work, went through five editions, the fifth appearing at the time of the Russian War, shortly before the author’s death, which occurred at Blairgowrie on 4 Dec. 1855.

[Army Lists; Gent. Mag. 1856; Edinburgh Med. Jour. Jan. 1856; Ballingall’s Works.]

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