Surgeon (Prob) John Hislop

Biography of Surgeon (Prob) John Hislop

John Hislop was from Wishaw, North Lanarkshire. He entered the University of Glasgow at the age of 16, enrolling in 1912 to study medicine. He studied Chemistry, Zoology, and Anatomy in his first year; followed by Physiology and Anatomy in year two; then Pathology, Materia Medica, and Clinical Surgery. Both Hislop and a fellow classmate, John MacIntyre, left University in 1915 to join the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. As third-year medical students, they were commissioned as Surgeon Probationers, the most junior of the Medical Branch. Surgeon Probationers gained practical experience by performing general GP duties and attending battle casualties.

Hislop served on HMS Nessus at the Battle of Jutland, which took place overnight on 31 May - 1 June 1916. Jutland was the only full-scale naval battle of the First World War. It saw Admiral Jellicoe’s Grand Fleet (150 ships) meet the German High Seas Fleet (99) in the North Sea. While the losses of ships were comparable, the Grand Fleet suffered the greater loss of personnel.

Nessus saw heavy fighting just before dawn on 1 June. Hislop was one of only a handful of crew lost by Nessus during the battle. The ship survived Jutland, but was later sunk after a collision with the cruiser HMS Amphitrite while the ships were zig-zagging through the North Sea in a fog bank in September 1918.

Hislop’s mother, Mary, wrote a brief note to the University of Glasgow to report his death, which is preserved in the University Archives. Hislop is commemorated at the University of Glasgow and his name appears on the Plymouth Naval Memorial.


Surgeon (Prob) John Hislop
Rank: Surgeon (Prob)
Regiment: Royal Navy
Degree: Student
Awards: N/A
Comments: Killed at Jutland 31 May 1916
Note/Press Clipping: Ch 4/4/2/3/408
Photo ID: Ch 4/4/2/2/100

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