Dr Eric Dow, General Practitioner for Bridge of Allan, took his life on the last day of January 1947.

He died by cyanide fumes in his home and surgery, Fernfield. A dreadful scene like the opening of “Love in the time of cholera”

Dr Eric Dow, at time of death, was bankrupt [he could not bring himself to charge his patients]. His wife had left him.

My uncle, John Scott, used to talk fondly of Dr Eric Dow. The images in this film are of my uncle at about the age that he first started attending Dr Dow. [The Margaret mentioned in the diary is my mother, Margaret Scott]

The old doctors of Bridge of Allan liked colour. Dr Paterson, his colourful orchids, and Dr Dow his primary qualia. But sadly all colour went from Dr Dow’s life. So terribly sad for a man that could not bear to ask his patients for payment.

Just over two months after Dr Eric Dow’s suicide, the NHS in Scotland began. Free at the point of delivery. There for all.

[21st May 1947]:

To play this short film please click here or on the image above.