Name: Douglas ‘Bunny’ Rose Campbell Wilson
MBBS – University of Melbourne (1931)
Date of Birth: 5 June 1906
Date of Death: January 1970
Douglas ‘Bunny’ Rose Campbell Wilson was born on June 5, 1906 in Perth. He relocated to Melbourne to undertake his MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery) degree at the University of Melbourne. He graduated in 1931. Wilson worked in the rural town of Dowerin, Western Australia, prior to World War II. In 1939 he enlisted into the Australian Imperial Force and served as a medical officer during the war. He was awarded an OBE for his achievements. On return to Australia, Wilson was employed by the Perth Hospital. He was a significant early figure in the development of the Faculty Board of Western Australia and in 1952 was granted a Foundation Fellowship to the Faculty of Anaesthetists, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.
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Douglas ‘Bunny’ Rose Campbell Wilson was born in Perth on June 5, 1906.[i] He attended Hale School, an independent Anglican school located in inner-city Perth. After finishing secondary school, Wilson moved to Melbourne to undertake his MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery). He graduated in 1931.[ii] During his study, Wilson resided in Ormond College. His first professional appointment was in 1931 at the Perth Hospital.[iii] His position was resident medical officer.
In 1932, Wilson moved to rural Western Australia working for seven years in the town of Dowerin.[iv] He was a general practitioner. Wilson left Dowerin in 1939 to join the Australian Imperial Force. He served as medical officer during World War II in the Second Sixteenth Battalion.[v] His work in Syria was later awarded with a Member of Order of the British Empire on December 30, 1941.[vi]
On his return to Australia in 1945, Wilson entered into General Practice in Metropolitan Perth. During this period he met Gilbert Troup. With Troup’s encouragement and support, Wilson became the first qualified full-time Anaesthetist in the state of Western Australia.
From 1945 onwards, Wilson was an honorary anaesthetist to the Royal Perth Hospital, worked at the Repatriation Hospital, Hollywood, Thoracic Unit and Princess Margaret Hospital for Children.[vii] He became the director of the Princess Margaret Hospital in 1945 and served until 1956.[viii]
Alongside Troup, Wilson was a significant founding member of the Western Australian Committee of the Faculty of Anaesthetists, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. He was present at their inaugural meeting in 1955.[ix] Wilson was also affiliated with the Australian Society of Anaesthetists. From 1947 to 1951, he represented Western Australia on the Executive Committee.[x]
Wilson’s early contribution to the Faculty and its branch in Western Australia were awarded with a Foundation Fellowship in 1952.[xi] He has also been remembered for his significant contributions to teaching anaesthetics and for his design of anaesthetic apparatus. Wilson specifically advanced the knowledge of administering anaesthetics during neonatal surgery. He died in January, 1970.[xii]
[i] TBC[ii] Douglas Rose Campbell Wilson, ‘Exordium’, Application Form, 1952, Geoffrey Kaye Museum of Anaesthetic History: VGKM 6903.8.[iii] H. Cohen, ‘Douglas Rose Campbell Wilson’, Historical Notes Royal Perth Hospital, ANZCA Archives, Series 11.[iv] Ibid.[v] Ibid.[vi] Australian Government, ‘Douglas Rose Campbell Wilson’, It’s an Honour, 2015, Online: https://www.itsanhonour.gov.au/honours/honour_roll/search.cfm?aus_award_id=1090525&search_type=quick&showInd=true.[vii] H. Cohen, ‘Douglas Rose Campbell Wilson’.[viii] Ibid.[ix] Gilbert Troup, ‘Inaugural Meeting’, 5 September 1955, ANZCA Archives, Series 11.[x] H. Cohen, ‘Douglas Rose Campbell Wilson’.[xi] Douglas Rose Campbell Wilson, ‘Exordium’.[xii] H. Cohen, ‘Douglas Rose Campbell Wilson’.
- Portrait of Douglas Rose Campbell Wilson
- Douglas Rose Campbell Wilson, ‘Exordium’, Application Form, 1952, Geoffrey Kaye Museum of Anaesthetic History: VGKM 6903.8.