Associated People: MacLean, Mr Duncan, Balevullin (1904 - 1958)

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Black and white photograph of siblings Marion, Neil and Maggie MacLean of Balevullin in the 1910s.

L-R: Siblings Marion, Neil and Maggie MacLean of Balevullin in the 1910s. Marion died of flu in 1918, Duncan became Tiree`s first vet and Maggie became a teacher and married Ernest Richardson.

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Vet Duncan MacLean of Balevullin with his mother

Photograph of vet Duncan MacLean of Balevullin with his mother.

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Courtesy of Mrs Flora MacKinnon

Duncan MacLean of Balevullin was the first veterinary surgeon on Tiree. Educated at Cornaig School, the headmaster of the time, Donald O. MacLean, recognised his potential and recommended to his family that he study at Glasgow University.

Back on Tiree after qualifying, he worked from a surgery next to the family thatched house in Balevullin. He was the first to do TB testing on the island and he introduced cobalt licks to prevent ‘pine’ in sheep grazing on the sandy, mineral-deficient machair.

He is remembered as a brilliant vet and a character. Many patients would prefer to see him than the doctor! Duncan never married and is pictured here with his mother. He died in 1955.

Black and white photograph of vet Duncan MacLean of Balevullin with an unknown woman.

Vet Duncan MacLean (1904-1958) of Balevullin on the right with an unknown woman, possibly his mother, taken in the 1930s.