Dr John Nicholson Dobie

Major John Nicholson Dobie M.A. M.D. J.P.,
Royal Army Medical Corps. Surgeon at Keighley War Hospital.

Major John Nicholson Dobie Dr., R.A.M.C.

1866: Birth on May 18. Registered in East Ward, Westmorland, in the second quarter of the year. Parents William and Emily Williams Dobie.
Baptised on 16th July at Temple Sowerby, Westmorland.
1871: Census. Age 4 years, living at College Street, Keighley with his parents, brothers and sisters. Father's occupation: General Practicioner.
1881: Census. Age 14 years, living at 24, Cook Lane, Keighley with his parents, brothers and sisters. Father's occupation: General Practicioner. John's occupation: Scholar.
1884: October 16. Resident at Oxford College.
1885: Cambridge University Alumni Matriculation, entered Michs. College. Transcription below.
1891: Census. Age 24 years, living at Claremont House, Paddington, London as a lodger. Occupation: Medical student.
1893: August 5. Age 27 years (Medical practitioner) Marriage to Laura Alberta Jane Sargent (Age 24 years) at Christ Church, Brondesbury, Willesden, Middlesex. Both were living at 11, Dyne Road, Willesden.
1901: Census. Age 34 years, living at 137, Oaklands, Keighley with wife Laura and daughter Edna F. Dobie (age, under 1 month) Occupation: Medical Practicioner.
1906: Death of wife Laura - age 36 years, registered in Keighley in the third quarter of the year.
1907: Marriage to Gretta Tomkins, registered in Keighley in the third quarter of the year.
1910 and 1911. Phone book record, registered at 137, Oaklands, Keighley. Occupation: Physician and Surgeon.
1911: Census. Age 44 years, living at 137, Oaklands, Keighley with wife Gretta and daughter Edna - age 10 years. Occupation: Medical Practicioner.
1914: Surgeon to Keighley Division of the West Riding Constabulary. Treated injuries to local Police officers during the Keighley riots of 29th and 30th September.
1915: January 11, joined the Keighley Volunteers.
1916: July 6. Appointed during the Great War as Captain, then Major in the Royal Army Medical Corps, working as a surgeon and physician in the Keighley War Hospitals. Mentioned in despatches, recorded in the London Gazette.

Left the RAMC.

1926: Appointed to the Keighley Borough Bench.
1940: Death on February 15. age 73 years. Registered in Keighley in March. Address: 282 Skipton Road.
Buried in Utley Cemetery, Keighley. Also mentioned on the grave are their children:
William Archibald Dobie (1894 - 1894), Hylda Dobie Feather (1896 - 1963), Dorothy Nicholson Dobie (1899 - 1899) Beatrice Dobie (1902 - 1902). Also his siblings: William Fullerton Dobie (1867 - 1926), Hugh Somerville Dobie (1869 - 1931), James Gordon Dobie (1870 - 1898), Emily Dobie (1874 - 1874).
March 9, Probate. Registry: Wakefield.

John Nicholson Dobie in the Cambridge University Alumni, 1261-1900
Cambridge University Alumni, 1261-1900 No Image
Name: John Nicholson . Dobie
College: CAIUS
Entered: Michs. 1885
BORN: 18 May 1866
More Information: Adm. at CAIUS, Oct. 1, 1885. [Eldest] s. of William, M.D., of Keighley, Yorks. B. [May 18, 1866], at Temple Sowerby, Westmorland. School, Bingley. Matric. from Exeter College, Oxford, Oct. 16, 1884, age 18; Scholar, 1884. Matric. Michs. 1885; B.A. 1888; M.A., M.B. and B.C. 1895. At Addenbrooke's, Cambridge and St Mary's Hospitals. Sometime Resident Clinical Assistant, Paddington Infirmary. Consulting Surgeon, Victoria Hospital, Keighley. Surgeon, Keighley Division of the West Riding Constabulary. Served in the Great War, 1914-19 (Major, R.A.M.C.; mentioned in despatches). In practice at Keighley, 1898-1940. J.P. for Keighley. (Venn, II. 479; Univ. War List; Medical Directory, 1939; Al. Oxon.)

Enlisted with the Keighley Volunteers on 11th January 1915:
Dobie, John Nicholson. 137, Oaklands. Married. 2 Daughters. Age 48 years. Height: 5 feet 6 inches. Chest 38 inches. Reason not in regular force: Over age. Book 3.

Keighley Riots of 1914:
Many members of the Keighley police force received cuts and bruises and had to receive attention at the hands of Dr J. N. Dobie. (transcribed from the war diaries of Herbert A. France Sub-Editor, Keighley News. - Held at Keighley Library - archive box BK424)

Keighley War Hospital record:

On July 6th 1916 formal approval was given for the following appointments:
Administrator Wm Scatterty Major, RAMC
Registrar and Surgeon H S Branden Capt, RAMC
Surgeon J N Dobie Capt RAMC
Physician J M Crocker Capt RAMC
Eye and Ear Specialist A Little M B Bradford
Anaesthetist J C Crawford
Radiographer O H A Maggs
Quartermaster T Starkie Lieut RAMC (succeeding Capt T E Oliver RAMC)
Matron A Hill R R C
Medical Orderlies J P O’Connell, K Marriner, J E H Scott, W P Young

The principal members of the staff – the medical and surgical staff was a voluntary one – during the greater part of the military occupation were:-
Surgeons Dr J G Moffat, Dr H G Ling, Dr J N Dobie and Dr H S Branden
Physicians Dr J C Crawford and Dr J E H Scott
Anaesthetist Dr J C Crawford
Matron Miss Garner A R R C
Secretaries Miss Grace, Miss Hoyle

The Keighley War Hospital was a centre where American Surgeons could see the latest developments in military surgery and some 30 American Red Cross surgeons attended lectures by Dr Branden and saw demonstrations and heard clinical discourses on methods dealing with the more interesting and obscure results of modern warfare by Majors Dobie and Branden.

The Keighley War Hospital cluster of local hospitals served the needs of 13,214 soldier patients between July 1916 and April 1919. John Nicholson Dobie was there for the whole time.

Obituary in Keighley Library:
The Keighley news 17th February 1940

Keighley has lost an outstanding personality in the life of the town by the death at the Keighley and District Victoria Hospital on Thursday of Dr. J. Nicholson Dobie, of Wood Crest, Skitpon Road, Keighley.
This is the third death in the Keighley medical profession in two months, the others being Dr. H. S. Brander and Dr. Francis Villy.
Aged 73 years, Dr Dobie was for 28 years surgeon at the hospital and followed his father, the late Dr. William Dobie, who was one of the original members of the medical staff. Together they had a connection with the hospital of practically 50 years.
Dr. J. N. Dobie went with his brother, the late Dr. H. S. Dobie, to Bingley Grammar School and had a lifeling association with Keighley district. In the medical profession he was held in high esteem and as a surgeon it was held that few were more skilful in the North of England.
He saw the work at Keighley Victoria Hospital grow from small beginnings, when operations were performed on a kitchen table with the aid of the matron and a maid, to the finely equipped building of which he was extremely proud.
During the last war, on the formation of Keighley Volunteers, he undertook the instruction of the ambulance section, using a wide experience of St, John Ambulance work in which he had trained hundreds of men and conducted scores of examinations and competitions.
When Spencer Street Congregational Sunday School was opened as an auxiliary hospital for wounded he was a member of the staff, and on the opening of Keighley and District War Hospital at Morton Banks he was gazetted Captain in the R.A.M.C. and later promoted Major.
His war work was, indeed, outstanding, and he was immesly popular with the wounded soldiers with whom he came in contact, for there was nothing in Dr. Dobie's nature which suggested the official manner and his homely and kindly manner brought him into greater intimacy than was customary even in the Army Medical Service. His skill as a surgeon in dealing with cases of serious injury must have saved the lives of scores of men who now live to bless the memory of one who was always at his pot when duty called, and who could mix with them in brighter times and meet them as man to man.

An orchestra at the Keighley War Hospital.
Dr J. N. Dobie in the centre, holding the cello.

For many years he was Keighley police surgeon, and he was thought of highly by every man of the police force with whom he came into contact.
In the work of the St. John Ambulance Brigade Dr. Dobie had the happy knack of imparting knowledge in a popular manner, and he was an adept at setting problems for competitions. For his ambulance work he was made a Knight of Grace of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem.
When appointed to the Keighley Borough bench in 1926 he was one of the few with the distinction of following his father in that capacity. He was regular in attendance at court so long as his health remained good.
He had a keen ear for music and was an accomplished cellist, and at one time a playing member of Keighley Orchestral Society. He was also an ardent angler and found great enjoyment in salmon fishing.
Tribute to Dr. Dobie's work on the bench was paid by the Mayor of Keighley (Mr. J. W. Wardle) before the ordinary business of the Keighley Borough Court on Tuesday.
Dr. Dobie, said the Mayor, was appointed to the bench on 1926 and although the duties of a doctor were very great indeed he attended the court frequently and carried out his duties in a most efficient manner. "I think everyone will agree that Dr. Dobie was one of the most respected men in this town and he was respected for his great surgical ability and his medical skill as well," said the Mayor, who added that the doctor was a member of the Juvenile Panel and took a great interest in the juvenile courts. They all greatly regretted the passing away of such a valuable member of the community and a man so highly esteemed. All present in the court rose as a mark of respect.

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