Robert Douglas Lockhart (1894-1987)

Professor of Anatomy at Aberdeen from 1938 to 1964

He was born in Hamilton in 1894.  His studies were interrupted by service in the Royal Navy volunteer reserve during the First World War.  He was appointed lecturer in anatomy under Professor Reid till 1931 and then took up the chair of anatomy in Birmingham.  He helped develop the new museum and contributed to Cunningham’s anatomy - an important text assisting in anatomical dissection for medical students for decades.  He was president of the Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland from 1955 to 1957.  He was easily recognisable at society meetings arriving in his Daimler-the same shade as his trilby and spats!

Lockhart was elected Dean of Medicine at Aberdeen University in 1959, holding the post until 1962. He was curator of Marischal Museum until 1979.

In his leisure time he was a keen horticulturalist (having been trained by his nursery man father) an enthusiastic cultivator of rhododendrons and produced several new varieties, one of which was named after his mother.

With his assistants, Doctors Hamilton and Fyfe, he produced a classic textbook, The Anatomy of the Human Body. This book was a worldwide success.  It was translated into Spanish, Italian and Portuguese and it was made a standard text in hospital libraries in the USA.

He also made substantial contributions to surface anatomy and his other seminal text, Living Anatomy (1948) achieved a high status in the curricula of all medical schools.

There are interviews on the university's Oral Histories archive.

Image: © Medico-Chirurgical Society of Aberdeen (2007)

Biography prepared from the nomination made by Professor G G Youngson to the University of Aberdeen 525 Alumni project.