S2A3 Biographical Database of Southern African Science

Parkin, Dr Bately Scott (veterinary medicine)

Born: 18 July 1892, Middelburg, Eastern Cape, South Africa.
Died: 16 July 1951, Chivhu, Zimbabwe.

Bately Scott Parkin, researcher in veterinary medicine, was the son of James Millar Parkin and his wife Susan Jane, born Richardson. He matriculated at the Christian Brothers' College in Kimberley in 1909 and then studied at Rhodes University College, Grahamstown, obtaining the BA degree of the University of the Cape of Good Hope in 1912. The next year he was appointed as a clerk in the Department of Agriculture. At the outbreak of World War I (1914-1918) he served briefly as a cavalryman in German South West Africa (now Namibia), until his discharge in September 1914. The next year he began studying at the Veterinary College in Dublin, Ireland, where he qualified as a veterinarian (MRCVS) in 1918 and distinguished himself as a brilliant student by winning silver or bronze medals in eleven subjects. Towards the end of World War I he saw active service as an officer in the Royal Veterinary Corps in India and Afghanistan.

After his discharge in 1920 Parkin became lecturer in veterinary research at Elsenburg College of Agriculture, Stellenbosch. That same year he became a member of the newly established South African Veterinary Medical Association. In 1928 he was appointed research officer at the Onderstepoort Veterinary Research Institute and lecturer in veterinary medicine at the Veterinary Faculty of the Transvaal University College (soon to become the University of Pretoria). The next year he was promoted to professor of veterinary medicine. In 1933 he was awarded the DSc degree by the University of South Africa for a thesis on The trypanosomiases of domestic animals of the Union of South Africa. His research mainly concerned the chemotherapy of trypanosomiasis and other protozoal diseases of domestic animals and he published at least ten papers on these topics. During 1934 and 1935 he visited several veterinary institutions in Europe and the United States. He was working on an English translation of a Dutch textbook on organic diseases among the larger domestic animals when he died suddenly of a coronary thrombosis while on holiday in Zimbabwe.

Parker was an unassuming man with a keen sense of humour and a first-rate sportsman. He was married to Agnes Violet Cooper, with whom he had a daughter.

List of sources:
Author and Subject Index to the Government Veterinary Reports of the Transvaal and Union of South Africa (1903-1932). Pretoria: Department of Agriculture, June 1937.

Author and Subject Index to the Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Science and Animal Industry (1933-1950) and the Onderstepoort Journal of Veterinary Research (1951-1968). Pretoria: Department of Agriculture, June 1969.

Brown, M.H.V. & Curson, H.H. The veterinary profession in South Africa. 6: Theses for the doctorate. Journal of the South African Veterinary Medical Association, 1933, Vol. 4(3), pp. 186-188.

Dictionary of South African biography, Vol. 5, 1987.

Journal of the South African Veterinary Medical Association, 1927, Vol. 1(1), pp. 84-85, List of members; 1929, Vol. 1(3), pp. 77-82, Register of veterinarians of the Union of South Africa.

National Automated Archival Information Retrieval System (NAAIRS). http://www.national.archives.gov.za/naairs.htm Documents relating to Bately Scott Parkin / B.S. Parkin.

Posthumus, P.J. Past Veterinarians in South Africa, Vol. 2, 10th edition, [1992].

University of the Cape of Good Hope. Calendar, 1914/5.

Zimbabwe, Death notices, 1904-1976. FamilySearch https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QKZQ-Y32P accessed 31 December 2015.

Compiled by: D.W. Verwoerd