Plaque unveiled for Sir James Young Simpson
The plaque, which recognises the famous doctor’s contribution to the medical world, has been placed in the Simpson Memorial Garden, Marjoribanks Street, Bathgate.
Pupils from St Mary?s, Simpson, Windyknowe, St Columbus, Boghall and Balbardie Primary Schools attended, as did children from Bathgate Early Years and Bathgate West Nursery Schools ? who all helped to plant several trees dedicated to his memory.
Enterprising Bathgate sponsored the event, providing the trees and snacks for the children at the unveiling. Cherry and Acer trees were chosen for their distinctive bark.
Local historian, William Millen, curator of the Bennie Museum, treated guests to a presentation on the life and work Sir James Young Simpson.
Robert De Bold, Executive councillor for the environment, said: ?I am delighted that this plaque has been placed in Simpson Memorial Garden. Sir James was truly a pioneer in his field and it?s important that future generations remember the contributions he made to the medical world.
"I have some affinity with Sir James Young Simpson; I was born in the Simpson Memorial Maternity Pavilion in Edinburgh and I also attended Edinburgh University, graduating 169 years after he did.
?I would like to thank Enterprising Bathgate for their kind donations. The trees will be a welcome addition to the impressive garden.?Pat Kerr, from Enterprising Bathgate, added: ?Sir James has helped put Bathgate on the map and we are delighted to contribute to his memorial garden.?
The son of a local baker, Sir James Young Simpson is a world renowned doctor who was born in Bathgate in 1811. He attended the University of Edinburgh at the age of 14, graduating in 1832. He was a pioneer in the use of anaesthetics, particularly chloroform, developing its use in surgery and midwifery.
He championed the use of chloroform against medical, moral and religious opposition. It was not until Queen Victoria used this anaesthetic during the birth of Prince Leopold (1853) that its use became generally accepted. In 1866 Sir James Young Simpson became the first person to be knighted for services to medicine.The chemical formulation for chloroform is embossed on the arch leading to the garden.