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Walter Galbraith

1889 - 1960

Adviser on the development of the NHS

Walter Weir Galbraith was born in Glasgow on 28 July 1889. He was educated at Glasgow Academy, the Leys School, Cambridge, and graduated from the University of Glasgow in 1914. He served during the First World War with the British Expeditionary Force in France and Italy.


He worked at the Western Infirmary, Glasgow, where was the senior consulting surgeon to the hospital. His main interest was always urology and he founded the urology department there.

In 1948, he was elected President of the Urological Section of the Royal Society of Medicine and also of the British Association of Urological Surgeons. He was president of the Royal Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow and, later, vice-president of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

Galbraith was concerned with the development and improvement of the National Health Service and served on the Scottish Health Services Council, the Joint Consultants and Specialists Committee and the Medical Whitley Council.

As a young man he played rugby for Glasgow Academicals; he was an excellent golfer and curler, a first-class shot and a fisherman.

After his death on 25 November 1960, at the age of 71, his friend wrote that Walter Gilbraith was the “vital Glaswegian, leading the party in good fellowship”.

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France    Italy    Scotland    world war