Dr John Pentland Alexander

Personal Details


29/05/1930 to 09/02/2019

Place of birth: Newcastle upon Tyne

Nationality: British

CRN: 491855

Education and qualifications

General education

Portora Royal School, Enniskillen, NI; Queen’s Universoty, Belfast (stroke & captain of first VIII - Irish senior champions, 1952)

Primary medical qualification(s)

MBBChBAO, Belfast, 1954

Initial Fellowship and type

FFARCS by Examination

Year of Fellowship


Other qualification(s)

MRCPI, 1957 (F 1977); DA(RCPSI), 1957; FFARCSI, 1962

Known as


Professional life and career

Postgraduate career

Details of early PG career not established, but acquisition of MRCPI in 1951 implies that he spent some time working in internal medicine. By 1960 he was a registrar in anaesthesia in the Mid Antrim Hospitals, and from 1962 was a consultant at Tyrone County Hospital, Omagh. In 1966, he moved to the Belfast City Hospital, a consultant post he held until retirement in 1995.

Professional interests and activities

A careful, skilful anaesthetist, who gave great support to colleagues, he published on a range of topics, but with some focus on intensive care (completing marathons to raise funds for his unit), orthopaedics and trauma work. He was a Fellowship examiner in Dublin for over 20 years, and gave long service to the TA’s 204 Field Hospital (TD 1981). He was deployed in a training role as a reservist during the second Gulf War, and his teaching of emergency care & resuscitation extended to the regular army. Rising to the rank of colonel, he was CO of his Field Hospital and Queen’s Honorary Surgeon (1984-7), later serving as honorary colonel (1996-2000). He was also a volunteer teacher of first aid to the public, and in 1998 was made a Commander of the Order of St John for this work.

Other biographical information

Married to Mildred, they had two children. In retirement he completed a Masters degree on medical ethics.

Author and sources


Prof Tony Wildsmith

Sources and comments:

[1] Obituary. BMJ 2019; 367: 335(16350) where a picture may be seen  [2] Medical Directory  [3] Records of 204 (NI) Field Hospital TA  [4] Alumni organisation of Portora Royal School. Thanks to Brig John Graham, RAMC retd, for his assistance with obtaining information from the latter two sources.