Development & Alumni Relations Office 


Dr Hugh Adair Courtney, MB BCh BAO, FRCGP (died 20 October 2019, aged 94)


Obituary written by Hugh’s son, Mike


Having been born and grown up in Belfast, Hugh attended Inchmarlo and then RBAI prior to starting his time at Queen’s where he studied Medicine, qualifying in 1948. An interesting anecdote was that at Queen’s his Professor of Zoology was Professor Flynn, father of the movie star Errol! Errol’s sister was also a student at Queen’s during this period.


Following a couple of false starts, one as a Senior House Officer in Belfast and another in a maternity ward in Birmingham, Hugh decided that as one of his main interests in medicine was what made people tick he entered General Practice. He was appointed a GP initially in Wargrave, Berkshire in 1951, eventually settling in Buckhaven, Fife in 1954 where he remained in practice until his retirement in 1987.


Throughout his life he worked as a trainer and numerous prospective GPs passed through his hands. He also helped to develop the fledgling Geriatric Unit at the local Cameron Bridge hospital. Under his management it grew from two 30 bed wards to eventually six 30 bed wards of which 2 wards were Rehab and the others long stay.


Following his retirement in 1987 he and his wife Betty, who also was born in Belfast and to whom he was married for some 60 years, indulged their love of travelling with many visits to the Middle East as well as India, Nepal, Canada and numerous European countries.


Hugh leaves 3 children and 4 grandchildren.


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