Paul from Whitehorse wrote me recently looking for help in finding the family of Dr. James Gordon McLeod, a medical doctor who served with the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps during the Second World War.
Paul is trying to find Dr. McLeod’s family in the hopes of giving them Dr. McLeod’s medical bag, which he discovered recently sitting next to a dumpster in Whitehorse.
“The bag contains a sphygmomanometer, stethoscope, stainless steel syringe frame and several leather cases containing various drugs in glass ampoules,” Paul wrote. “The bag also contains a vial of adrenaline hydrochloride bearing an expiry date in 1952. So, either Dr. McLeod was alive and practicing at this time, or another doctor was using the kit.”
Along with Dr. McLeod’s medical tools, Paul also found Dr. McLeod’s Canadian Medical Council license, issued in July 1938. The unsigned license, dated July 6, 1938, is in pristine condition. It appears that Dr. McLeod never took his license out of the mailing tube it came in.
So who was Dr. McLeod and how did his medical bag come to be left next to a dumpster in Whitehorse?
The Alaska Highway was built during the Second World War and a large number of military personnel were stationed in the North, so it’s conceivable Dr. McLeod was attached to that force.
However, Paul checked with the Yukon Medical Association and it has no record of McLeod practicing in the Yukon. He also checked with the Canadian Medical Council, the Vancouver General Hospital and the British Columbia Medical Association, all of which could offer no information.
Paul did find a record of a Lt. James McLeod who was stationed in Dundurn, Sask. at a RCAMC camp hospital in 1940. Lt. McLeod was then transferred overseas in 1943 to the No. 2 Light Field Ambulance, which coincidentally and surprisingly is the field ambulance my grandfather served with in Italy at the same time!
Paul has hit a dead end and he’s looking for help. Does anyone have any ideas or suggestions that would help Paul find McLeod’s identity and track down his family? Any and all help would be appreciated!