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Dr Peter Murray CarlyleCertifying Surgeon
Full name of worker at H.M. Factory Gretna (and any other names they are known by) : Dr Peter Murray Carlyle
Date and Place of Birth: 10/12/1873 Middlebie, Dumfries
Date and Place of Death: 04/12/1952 Langholm, Dumfries
Parents: John Calvert and Margaret Little (nee Murray) Carlyle
Parent’s occupations: Farmer
Schools / universities attended and years of attendance:
Edinburgh Univ. to 1908
Occupational history (previous jobs in their career):
Place of residence at Gretna: The Gables, Annan Road, Gretna
Job title at Gretna: Certifying Surgeon
Marital status: Married
Spouse name (including male name): Margaret Gourley Yeats
Date of marriage: 16/12/1910
Place/Parish of marriage: Edinburgh
Travels: New York
Awards/recognitions: M.B. C.M.
Further links, notes, and comments:
Peter Murray Carlyle
Peter Murray Carlyle was a local doctor who served as certifying surgeon at HM Factory Gretna. He went on to have a wide career in medicine in England and Scotland and included a stint as a ship’s doctor.
Peter was born on the 10th December 1873, the second son of John Calvert and Margaret Little (nee Murray) Carlyle, at Middlebie, Dumfries. John was a local farmer.
Peter appears to have passed his preliminary exams for entry into the medical school at the University of Edinburgh in the mid-1890s. However, he doesn’t follow-up his medical career straight away. This may be due to the death of his mother in 1892 and his father in early 1901. On the 1901 census, Peter is described as the head of the household and his profession is given as farmer.
He does, however, go on to study medicine at Edinburgh and qualifies as a M.B. and C.M. (Mast. Surg.) on the 1st August 1908.
Peter marries Margaret Gourley Yeats in Edinburgh on 16th December 1910. The following year they are living in Sheffield and Peter is working as a Physician and Surgeon. He and Margaret are obviously very proud of their Scottish roots and state clearly on the census form that they are only “Residents in England”. In 1913, Peter is one of over a hundred doctors who attend a meeting in Sheffield to register under the 1911 National Insurance Act. Initially, there was a general opposition from doctors to the provisions for health care under the Act. The Sheffield Daily Telegraph comments that the opposition of local GPs only ended after “the news that alien doctors were to be dumped down in the city” by the Liberal government (1).
Peter and Margaret must at this point have returned to Scotland, as in August 1913 he is appointed as medical officer for the Kirkpatrick and Fleming Combination Poorhouse union. The 1913 Medical Register has him practicing medicine back at Milnholm, Langholm.
Peter was appointed by the Chief Inspector of Factories in September 1916 as certifying surgeon under the Factory and Workshop Acts for HM Factory Gretna, for the counties of Cumberland and Dumfries. Certifying surgeon was a requirement under the Factory Acts to oversee the health and welfare of the workers.
Not surprisingly, Peter appears to have been busy during the Great War. In addition to his work at Gretna, he also served as a part time unpaid Red Cross Society volunteer from 1st April 1917 until 1st January 1919. He carried out medical duties at the Scaurbank Auxiliary Hospital in Longtown and at the Cumberland Glinger Bank Auxiliary Hospital also in Longtown. He was appointed as a medical referee for the Gretna district for the War Pensions Committee in January 1918 (2).
His work at Gretna appears to have impacted on his role as medical officer for the Poorhouse union. This led to a court case in October 1917 after the Poorhouse committee had withheld part of his fee due to erratic attendance, which they blamed on his work for the Ministry of Munitions (3).
After the War, by 1925, Peter and Margaret are living at The Gables, Annan Road, Gretna.
In September 1930, Peter is signing on as ship’s surgeon aboard the SS City of Venice for a return voyage from Liverpool to New York. The manifest states that this is his first voyage. It handily records that Peter is 5 feet eight and a half inches tall and weighs 173lbs (12st 5ibs).
On the national Register of 1939, Peter and Margaret are living in Sutton in Surrey and he is a medical practitioner.
Margaret died at Milnholm on the 26th August 1944. Peter’s views on the new world order are expressed in a letter to The Scotsman published on 18th May 1945.
He died on the 4th December 1952 at Langholm. He was 79.
- Sheffield Daily Telegraph 6th January 1913
- Dumfries and Galloway Standard 16th January 1918
- Dumfries and Galloway Standard 20th October 1917