Always known by his colleagues as JRA, he was born on 31st May 1918 in Middlesborough, the son of a Glasgow-trained general practitioner. He entered St. Andrew’s University with an open scholarship in 1936, proceeded to a BSc in Anatomy in 1939 and then graduated MB with Commendation in 1942. After house jobs in Dundee, he spent a year in laboratory medicine, six months of which were with Professor Daniel F Cappell in pathology. There followed three years of National Service in Ghana, Libya (where he first learned to sail) and Egypt as a pathologist with the rank of Captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps. In 1947 he was recruited to Glasgow as Lecturer in Pathology by Cappell, then Professor at the Western Infirmary.