Roll of Honour

Fleet Surgeon

John Neil Robertson


John Neil Robertson was born in Beith, Ayrshire on 28th July 1873 of James Robertson of Salisbury Lodge, Meiklsbriggs, Paisley. During his time at University of Glasgow he lived in Hillhead. Qualifying in medicine in 1895, he travelled to India and America, before returning to work briefly in Scotland. Enlisting in the Royal Navy in 1899, he served in the Outer Hebrides and Africa aboard HMS Blake. Between 1906 and 1912, he contributed to the creation of the Neil Robertson stretcher with Captains Fitzherbert, C. A. W. Hamilton, and Fleet Surgeon I. M. McElwee. Made from duck canvas and bamboo slats, it acted as a securing hammock to casualties, allowing vertical transfer for treatment, an instrument that has continued to be used to this day. He was promoted from Staff Surgeon to Fleet Surgeon in early 1914. However, his service was cut short when in 1914 he died from an aortic aneurysm at the age of 41. He was buried at Plymouth (Ford Park) Cemetery with full military honours. He was further memorialised on the memorial plaque at Paisley Grammar School.

Memorial chapel at the University of Glasgow
The Memorial Chapel at the University of Glasgow