Surgeon Timothy Blair McLean, CD, CStJ, QHS
(29 September 1910 – 28 June 1982)
Timothy Blair McLean was born in Fairydell, Alberta and was educated at the University of Alberta, where he graduated with a Medical Degree. In September 1929, at age 19, he joined the Royal Canadian Navy Volunteer Reserves as an ordinary seaman.
In May or June 1930, McLean was training onboard HMCS Armentieres off the east coast of Vancouver Island when a RCAF Vickers Vedette, serial number 110, visited the ship and he took the following series of photos. In the photo of the plane being pulled by the rowboat, the pilot is visible seated at the stern.
McLean served with the Naval Reserve until 1929 when he was called to active service as a Surgeon Lieutenant. At the beginning of the Second World War he served as medical officer on the destroyers Ottawa, Saguenay, Fraser and Margaree, surviving the sinking of the latter two. For the remainder of the war, McLean served in various medical appointments ashore and as Principal Medical Officer of HMCS Ugana (cruiser).
He joined the Regular Force in 1945 and was subsequently appointed Principal Medical Officer of the Royal Canadian Navy Hospital at Esquimalt in March 1947. The following year, he was appointed Command Medical Officer, Esquimalt.
McLean returned to school for a short period of time, from 1950 to 1952, to complete post-graduate surgical training at the U.S. Naval Hospital, San Diego, California. Upon completing his studies, he returned to the west coast as Principal Medical Officer of HMCS Naden and Command Medical Officer. He remained in the position until 1958, when he was appointed Medical Director General of the Royal Canadian Navy. The following year McLean was appointed Deputy Surgeon General (Professional). In January 1960 hesucceeded to the position of Canada’s 21st Surgeon General (1960-1964) as Rear-Admiral McLean, and three months later was appointed Honorary Surgeon to Queen Elizabeth II.
Surgeon Rear-Admiral McLean died 28 June 1982 at the age of 71.
* Photos and news article are courtesy of his son, Doug McLean, Victoria, BC.
**Special thanks to Dan for this article!