Dr Donald Blatchley

Personal Details 

Dr Donald Blatchley MBChB FFARCS DA

07/02/1906 to 15/09/1983

Place of birth: Sydney, Australia

Nationality: Australian when an undergraduate

Post nominals: MBChB FFARCS DA

CRN: 715540

Originally Donald Aaron Blashki; changed 15/09/1926


Education and qualifications

General education

Scots College, Sydney, Australia; Edinburgh University Medical School

Primary medical qualification(s)

MBChB, Edinburgh, 1928

Initial Fellowship and type

FFARCS by Election

Year of Fellowship


Other qualification(s)

DA(RCP&S), 1936

Professional life and career

Postgraduate career

Appears to have returned to Australia for a few years after graduating, living in Tasmania, but returning to the UK in 1933. He was casualty officer & anaesthetist at the Royal Sussex County Hospital, and house surgeon & anaesthetist at the Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford (just pre-dating Macintosh) before becoming honorary anaesthetist at the West End Hospital for Nervous Diseases and anaesthetist at both the Royal Northern Hospital, Holloway & the Hospital for Women, Soho in 1935. By 1939 the West End appointment had been replaced by the Metropolitan Hospital and the Radium Institute. He served as a Captain, later temporary Major, in the RAMC during WW2, working at the 1st and 17th (London) General Hospitals. His later years were spent as a consultant at the Royal Northern, Atkinson Morley’s (Neurological) & Dollis Hill Hospitals, continuing at the latter only from 1974 until final retirement in 1976.

Professional interests and activities

A contributor to correspondence columns on a range of topics, his appointments suggest an early involvement with neurosurgery although a history of Atkinson Morley’s Hospital describes him (rather unkindly given his CV) as having “rather drifted into anaesthetics”! He certainly developed an interest in dental matters after WW2, taking the view that if dentists were going to use iv anaesthetic agents they should learn to do use them properly, not a view in line with the specialty’s thinking at the time. He was president of the Society for the Advancement of Anaesthesia in Dentistry in 1972. 

Other biographical information

From a medical family: his father, Eric Philip, won the MC during WW1; his elder brother, Keith Samuel Philip, graduated in the same medical class, also having changed his surname to Blatchley, and became a GP in London. Donald married Beryl Mary Dillon in Australia in 1933.  There was at least one son.

Author and Sources

Author: Prof Tony Wildsmith

Sources and any other comments: Edinburgh University Library, Special Collections, EUA IN1/ADS/STA 4 & 8 | Ancestry.co.uk | Sykes P. History of the Society for the Advancement of Anaesthesia in Dentistry. www.histansoc.org.uk | Gould G, Uttley D. A History of Atkinson Morley’s Hospital, 1869-1995. London: The Athlone Press, 1996, page 87.