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Ref No MS 393
Title Hugh Douglas Ross papers
Date c 1940-1986
Description Reports, photographs, plans and correspondence relating to the aircraft crash in Southern Rhodesia in which Dag Hammarskj÷ld was killed. Also additional material, mainly photographic, relating to cataract operations in Africa (possibly the first such operation in Africa). Also includes photographs of some of the lecturers from the Conjoint Medical School, University College, Dundee (University of St Andrews),and a class photograph from 1940 that includes David Dow and Hugh Douglas Ross.
Black & white photographs of crash site and investigators sifting through remains; letters from H. D. Ross to the Principal Private Secretary to the Federal Prime Minister relating to staff who assisted with his medical investigations; accident report 1961; documents relating to the aircraft; analysis of specimens and samples from N. G Shirley to H. D. Ross; reports from CID staff who attended the crash; notes to the Royal Medical Board; handwritten notes on the crash; letter from Dr P. J Stevens to H. D. Ross suggesting a joint publication; letter from the United Nations to Ross thanking him for his services; slides of the crash site; Report on the Medical Investigation of the Accident to Transair DC6B; file of x-rays; Report of the Commission on the Accident Involving Aircraft SE-BDY; 4 framed photographs; photographs of body parts/organs; wooden box of slides; box of index cards; rolled print of post mortem results; rolled wreckage plan 1961; rolled map detailing wreckage finds of a specific map grid. Further detailed list available in the Archive.
Level Fonds
Extent 1 metre
Access Status Closed
Language English
Admin History Hugh Douglas Ross was educated at Morgan Academy in Dundee and graduated from the Conjoint Medical School, University College, Dundee (University of St Andrews), in 1940, He served with the R.N.V.R. during the war, after which he had appointments at St. Andrews (1946-1947), Oxford University Nuffield Hospital (1947-1948), St. Albans Hospital (1948-1950) and the Royal College of Surgeons, London (1950-1952). In 1953 he, with his family, emigrated to Southern Rhodesia, having been recruited as consultant histologist for the shortly to be created Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland. From 1953 to 1963 he provided histological, pathology and forensic services for the Southern Rhodesia region of the Federation.

In 1961 he received a phone call from Sir Roy Welensky, the first and last Prime Minister of the Federation, asking him to depart immediately for Ndola, Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) where the wrecked remains of the airplane carrying the Secretary General of the United Nations, Dag Hammarskjold, and 15 others had been found on the afternoon of 16 September, 1961. Dr Ross in company with an RAF pathologist, Dr. Stevens, performed post mortems on all the victims of the accident, including the one surviving UN guard, who died of his severe burns three days after the accident without regaining consciousness. Following the intensive pathological examination Ross then travelled to England to complete the writing of the medical report on the accident with Dr. Stevens. Subsequently he appeared before the Federal Government Board of Enquiry and the UN enquiry into the cause and circumstances of the accident to both of which the medical report was presented. He and his family moved to South Africa after the collapse of the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland and later, because of failing health, he returned to Britain with his wife, purchasing the village post office in Whitchurch, Bucks, where he was the postmaster until his death in 1973.


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