Was called up by ’Phone at 5.20 for Jas. Mitchell, Henderland.1 It was a dark night but calm + some frost. Mitchell had Angina Pect.2 Gave him a hypo of Morph + Atrop.3 Got back a little after 9. Lovely sunrise but it soon clouded over + was damp + drizzly all day. Motored over to Woll Rigg.4 Wrote some Xmas letters5 to Somers6, Mrs Taylor7, Jas. Russell8 Agatha Sprot9, Charlie Boucher10 + Jessie Hayes.11 Called at Kirklea + gave W.H.O.12 a copy of Rorie’s poems13 as an “antidote to “Adventure Square”.14
1 Assume James Mitchell, senior (about 1854-1929) of Henderland, Megget, Selkirkshire. At the 1921 Census the family comprised James Mitchell senior aet 67, James Mitchell junior, 35, Mary Richardson Mitchell, 33, Isabella Shiel Mitchell, 26, and Eliza Dalgleish Mitchell, 25.
2 Angina pectoris or angina is chest pain.
3 Morphia and Atropine appear to be used to relieve pain and to reduce the spasmodic effects of the attack.
4 Perhaps to see William Dewar of Woll Rigg, Ashkirk, who had his hand lacerated when sawing a branch off a tree on 28 November 1922.
6 The Editor speculates that this refers to the Somers, a Belgian evacuee family in Selkirk during the First World War see Dr Muir’s diary, 26 December 1914, but see also diary entry for 24 December 1920.
7 Conceivably Rhoda Taylor née Macintyre, later White (1873-). She had married, 1905, at Callander, Alexander ‘Sandy’ Taylor (about 1872-1917), M.A., LL.B., Sheriff-Substitute of Forfar who was killed in April 1917 near Fampoux, Arras. Rhoda re-married, 27 June 1921, Paddington, London, Samuel White, manufacturer, of ‘Highlands’, Taunton, Somerset. See Dr Muir’s diary for 31 December 1915 “… Had dinner party … Major & Mrs Taylor (he being Sheriff-Substitute of Forfar).”
8 James Russell is unidentified.
9 Agatha Elizabeth Margareta Sprot, later Purvis (1874-1962), daughter of John Sprot, army officer, and Cecilia Elizabeth Doveton.
10 Charles James ‘Charlie’ Boucher (1877-1947), locum to Dr Muir in 1902, but see also diary entry for 20 December 1922.
11 Jessie Geddes Thomson Hayes née Muir (1860-1930), daughter of Alexander Muir and thus Dr Muir’s niece, but see also diary entry for 20 December 1922.
12 William Henry ‘W H’ or ‘Will’ Ogilvie (1869-1963), author, journalist and one of Australia’s great Bush poets, living at Kirklea, Ashkirk.
13 Perhaps ‘The Auld Doctor, and Other Poems and Songs in Scots’ by David Rorie (1867-1946), D.S.O., M.D.C.M, D.P.H., doctor, folklorist and poet whose poem ‘Tam and the Leeches’ Dr Muir had recited at a Jubilee Nurses Concert on 30 November 2022 (“Faith there’s a hantle queer complaints | To cheenge puir sinners into saints | An’ mony divers ways o’ deein’ | That doctors hae a chance o’ seein’ | The Babylonian scartit bricks | To tell his doots o’ Death’s dark tricks.” etc).
14 Dr Muir’s second cousin Jean Frances Guthrie Smith (1895-1949), a poet, had published ‘Adventure Square’ (London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1922) and on 20 October Dr Muir recorded that Ogilvie had written saying “All brains + brilliance without any melody or a right word or suggestion that makes the heart beat quicker or the blood run warm.”
[Source: Scottish Borders Archives & Local History Service SBA/657/25, Dr J S Muir of Selkirk, medical practitioner, journal for 1922]