General Internal Medicine
Designatory Letters: 
MB Edin 1935, MRCP Edin 1938, FRCP Edin 1941, MD Edin 1949

With the death at the age of 96 of Jake Borthwick, the College has lost a notable Fellow and Scottish rugby one of it’s ‘greats’, the last- but- one survivor of its 1938 Triple Crown winning team.

The only son of a chemist he was educated at Daniel Stewart’s College and Edinburgh University. Throughout his life he remained a loyal supporter of his school’s former pupils, endeavouring to watch their games when his professional commitments allowed it. After qualifying in 1935 he did his junior house jobs in Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and the Astley Ainslie Hospital Edinburgh, and Nelson Hospital, London before returning to Edinburgh to sit his MRCP and win his doctorate. After a short spell in general practice he went back to “the Royal” as Clinical Tutor under Dr W. Alexander, often acting as consultant in the absence of his seniors on active service in the war. Having lost the sight in one eye as a result of a rugby injury he was not called up but after the war went to Nigeria for two years with the RAMC, his work during a polio epidemic seeing him rewarded with MBE. He never married but with his mother went to work in the Scottish Borders as consultant physician at Peel Hospital where he remained from 1950 until his retirement in 1976.

He captained Stewart’s FP winning the club championship in 1937-38 and in that year was selected for Scotland, playing as a forward against Wales and Ireland at Murrayfield. A little known fact was that he was expected to play in the Twickenham game but, having a light lunch before the match, was unable to lift his soup spoon because of pain in his shoulder, the result of another rugby injury. At the last minute his place on the front row was taken by Francis Blackadder. The final score was England 16 – Scotland 21 played before a crowd of 70,000 including the King and Queen, and still remembered as the first televised international.

He lived out his days in Galashiels, enjoying not only rugby matches but also fishing, golf and football matches, and serving his local church as an Elder. He is to be remembered at a forthcoming rugby match between Stewarts –Melville and Jed-Forest.