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Celebration service for life of former Caithness surgeon Pradip Datta

Pradip Datta.
Pradip Datta.

A celebration of the life of retired Caithness surgeon Pradip Datta, who has died aged 81, is planned for early summer.

He was born in Kolkata, India, but fell in love with Wick where he believed the Lord had sent him.

Pradip spent more than two decades as a consultant surgeon at Bignold Hospital then Caithness General during which time he trained surgeons from around the world.


In retirement, he continued to teach and gave his fees to Macmillan Cancer Support, Save the Children, and Women in Need, a colony for women with leprosy in India.

Throughout his life Pradip spoke of his admiration for the NHS and Aneurin Bevan’s post-war vision which laid its foundations.


Pradip was also an accomplished sportsman winning 35 trophies at Wick Squash Club in 40 years and winning the Caithness county championship.

Together with his son Sandip, Pradip loved to fish the rivers of Caithness.

Sandip went on to become a psychiatrist living in Abernethy, near Perth, and working in Edinburgh with children with eating disorders.

His wife Samantha runs a fishing holiday business, which allows Sandip to continue the love of angling he developed alongside his father.


Pradip spent 12 years at a Roman Catholic school in India where lessons were in English and from an early age expressed his ambition to become a doctor.

He went to medical school in India then taught anatomy for three years before moving to London in 1967 and began training as a surgeon in hospitals across England.

He then applied for consultants jobs across the UK including at Bignold hospital, Wick, a place he had never heard of.

Move north

Pradip and his wife Swati travelled by Motorail to Inverness and drove to Wick.

He worked from Bignold hospital until Caithness General was opened in 1987.

In 2008 he was made an MBE for his work in advancing the careers of doctors throughout the world for which he also received the Farquharson Award from the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh.


He gained an international reputation for supporting students to develop the confidence they need to impress examiners.

He was also a past secretary of the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh.

The service of celebration will take place at Wick St Fergus Church on Saturday, June 4, at 1pm and all are welcome to attend.

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