Sir Robert Macintosh

Category Three: Nationally Recognised Notable New Zealanders

Date of birth

17 October 1897 at Timaru


28 August 1989 Oxford, England


Charles Nicholson Macintosh (Mayor of Timaru 1901-02) and Lydia Beatrice Thompson


  1. Rosa Marjorie Henderson 1925 (Dec 1956)
  2. Ann Francis (nee Manning) 1962


  • Waitaki Boys’ High School (Head of School)
  • Guys Hospital Medical School

Military service

  • Royal Scots Fusilers 1915
  • Royal Flying Corps (shot down on 26 May 1917)
  • Remarkable series of attempted escapes from various prisoner of war camps
  • Air Commodore Royal Air Force World War II (responsibility for anaesthetic services)
  • Spanish Order of Military Merit 1939
  • Norwegian Order of Liberty 1946


  • Guys Hospital Medical School, qualifying MRCS LRCP in 1924
  • Junior appointments at Guys Hospital in South America
  • Trained as a Surgeon
  • FRCS Ed 1927
  • Dental Anaesthetic Practice
  • Nuffield Chair of Anaesthetics 1937
  • Developed vaporisers and other equipment which had a major impact on the practice of anaesthesia
  • Trained anaesthetists from the Services
  • Research into respirable atmopheres, parachute descent and life jackets
  • Research into complications of anaesthesia
  • Travelled giving demonstrations of simple anaesthetic techniques for primitive circumstances


  • Knighted in 1955
  • Henry Hill Hickman Medal of Royal Society of Medicine 1947
  • John Snow Medal of the Association of Anaesthetists 1967
  • Labat Prize of the American Society of Anaesthesiologists 1976
  • Honorary Doctorates of Medicine
  • Honorary Doctorates of Science
  • Honorary Fellowships of various medical colleges


  • Golf
  • Tennis
  • Swimming
  • Walking

Last updated: 16 Sep 2021