Last Update: 30/01/2013 17:48
Allan Gordon Campbell DSO, MS, FRCS, FRACS
ALLAN GORDON CAMPBELL, known as AG, was born on May 4, 1916, in
Adelaide, the first child of Iris (née Fisher) and Gordon Campbell.
His sister, Judith, was born in 1920.
Schooled at St Peter's College, Allan entered the University of
Adelaide Medical School at 16. At university, he excelled at
sprinting, as had his father. By remarkable coincidence both held
the junior and senior State Sprint Championships and
Inter-University 100 yards championship 30 years apart.
After graduating in 1938, Allan became Resident Medical Officer
at the Royal Adelaide Hospital (RAH). His registrar, Dr Ina Fox,
three years his senior, later became his wife. In 1940, he became
an RMO at the Adelaide Children's Hospital. His grandfather, Dr
Allan Campbell, who was married to Florence Ann (sister of Sir
Samuel Way, Lieutenant-Governor and Chief Justice), founded the
hospital in 1876.
Allan joined the Royal Australian Naval Reserve as Surgeon
Lieutenant in 1939. During World War II, he served on the destroyer
HMAS Vendetta. In 1941 following evacuation from Greece, Allan,
then 25, was awarded the Distinguished Service Order for service
While on leave, he married Dr Ina Fox in 1942 at St Peter's
College Chapel. After discharge, in 1945, Allan returned to
Adelaide to join a general practice at Hindmarsh. He then began
surgical training at theRAH. He gained Fellowship of the Royal
Australasian College of Surgeons in 1949 and Master of Surgery in
At that time, to practice in Australian public hospitals,
Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons, England, was required.
Allan attended Hammersmith Hospital, London, then Warrington
General Hospital, Lancashire. He was admitted as a Fellow of the
Royal College of Surgeons in 1951.
On return to Adelaide in 1953 Allan was appointed Honorary
Assistant Surgeon at theRAH, becoming Honorary Surgeon in 1963. His
vision - broader than usual at the time - included the surgery of
trauma and lead to the mentorship of a succession of younger
sub-specialty surgeons. Upon abolition of the honorary system in
1970, he became a Senior Visiting Surgeon in 1971. Throughout
this time he held teaching appointments in Surgery and Surgical
Anatomy at the University of Adelaide Medical School, was a member
of the Curriculum Committee of the Faculty of Medicine, the Foreign
Practitioners Assessment Committee, the Advisory Committees to the
University of Adelaide,RAHand Queen Elizabeth Hospital, and was
Visiting Specialist in General Surgery to the Department of
In 1976 following establishment of Flinders Medical Centre,
Professor Jim Watts offered Allan, then 60, the position of Senior
Visiting Surgeon which he accepted. In those days, it was unusual
for a Senior Surgeon to move from an established position to new
territory, but Allan's sense of adventure, wisdom, practicality and
humility ensured the move was successful. He retired
fromFMCin 1981, aged 65.
For years, Allan conducted his private practice from the Botanic
Chambers opposite theRAH. He also visited Angaston and Mount
Gambier Hospitals. Allan was a mentor and role model to
several generations of surgeons and offered wise counsel in
difficult clinical and management scenarios. He was a life member
of the AMA.
Although a keen golfer, Allan chose rose-growing as his hobby,
so he could be on call and near the family. It also provided
opportunities to meet people outside of medicine. He was an adept
horticulturalist. At its peak, his home garden boasted around 800
rose bushes, as well as camellias, orchids, hydrangeas and fruit
Allan was involved with the Rose Society for 50 years. He was
president inSouth Australiafrom 1974 to 1976, and nationally in
1975 and 1981. He was a judge at Rose Society Shows and a delegate
to meetings of the World Federation of Rose Societies. For
service to the Rose in Australia, he received the T.A. Stewart
Memorial Award in 1976 and the Australian Rose Award in 1981.
Allan established rose gardens at various hospitals, including
theRAHin 1976. A commemorative plaque was later placed its
North Terrace end. Allan was a national representative on the Board
of the National Rose Trial Garden at the Botanic Gardens. He
established a rose garden at Pineview Retirement Village and his
monthly notes on Rose Care were published in a book "Pineview Roses
- A Rose Lover's Handy Guide", proceeds of which go to the Women's
and Children's Hospital.
Allan and Ina were active members of their local church, St
Chad's, Fullarton, for 50 years. Allan served on the Parish Council
and was the Synod Representative for years. He was a generous
financial supporter of the Parish. Allan and Ina held many open
days of their garden in Fisher Street to raise funds for the
Allan and Ina celebrated their 50th wedding
anniversary in 1992.Allan was devastated when Ina died suddenly in
Allan died on June 29, 2011, aged 95. He is survived by his two
daughters, Anne and Elizabeth and two grandchildren, Alexandra and
Andrew. He is remembered as a hard-working, conscientious,
talented, generous and humble gentleman who maintained dignity and
humour until the very end.
Dr Elizabeth Thompson
Dr Elizabeth Thompson is Allan Campbell's daughter. She thanks
here sister, Dr Anne Campbell, and many former colleagues, for