Ian Murray Mackerras

Born: 19 September 1898

Died: 21 March 1980

Ian Murray Mackerras (1898-1980) ... was born on 19 September 1898 at Balclutha, Otago, New Zealand, elder son of James Murray Mackerras, a New Zealand-born farmer, and his Sydney-born wife Elizabeth Mary, née Creagh. His parents separated and Elizabeth raised the boys in Sydney. Educated at Sydney Grammar School, Ian overstated his age and enlisted in the Australian Imperial Force on 13 December 1915. He served as a laboratory attendant in the hospital ship, Karoola, before joining (December 1917) the 13th Field Artillery Brigade on the Western Front. He was gassed in May 1918 at Villers-Bretonneux, France, and subsequently admitted to hospital in England. Returning to Australia in February 1919, he entered the University of Sydney (M.B., Ch.M., B.Sc. Hons, 1924); he graduated with the university medal in zoology and shared the John Coutts scholarship.

Source: Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 15, MUP, 2000.

He had an outstanding career as an academic and research scientist. 

During World War 2, he served with distinction in the Australian Army Medical Corps in the Middle East as a pathologist at the 1st Australian General Hospital. On his return to Australia in 1942, he was appointed Director of Entomology, Land Headquarters with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. 


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