Prof John Campbell Nicholson

Prof John Campbell Nicholson MBChB FFARCS DA

15/07/1905 to 04/03/1988

Place of birth: Belfast, Northern Ireland

Nationality: British

CRN: 715538

Professor from 1963

Education and qualifications

General education

Altrincham Grammar School; University of Manchester

Primary medical qualification(s)

MBChB, Manchester, 1930

Initial Fellowship and type

FFARCS by Election

Year of Fellowship


Other qualification(s)

DA(RCP&S), 1935

Professional life and career

Postgraduate career

Held house appointments in both medicine & surgery at Manchester’s Royal Infirmary & St Mary’s Hospital before training in anaesthesia at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading (1932-3). He then spent a year as a demonstrator in human physiology at Manchester University before setting up in private practice with visiting anaesthetist posts at Manchester’s Ancoats, Northern & Dental Hospitals and Booth Hall Infirmary for Children. During WW2 he served (1939-45) in North Africa, Sicily, Italy and Germany as a Major in the RAMC, returning to Manchester until 1948 when he emigrated to South Africa. Initially he was chief anaesthetist to the Johannesburg Hospitals, but in 1963 was appointed to a new chair of anaesthesia in the University of Witwatersrand, a post he held until retirement in 1970.

Professional interests and activities

More information would be welcome. He was the third professor to be appointed in South Africa, and his main academic activities seem to have been in teaching, both undergraduates and postgraduates. He organised the original DA(Wits).

Other biographical information

From a medical family (father & brother), he married Elizabeth (possibly known as Dorothy) Holland and they had two daughters. Golf was an early pastime, but in South Africa he made a collection of butterflies that was ultimately given to the Transvaal Museum.

Author and Sources

Author: Prof Tony Wildsmith

Sources and any other comments: Boulton form | where a photograph may be found on the link below | Pharboo NB. MD Thesis (The Department of Anaesthesia, UCT, 1920-2000. A History), University of Cape Town, 2002.