|Born||2 May 1780
Forglen, by Bogton, Banffshire, Scotland
|Died||4 December 1855 (aged 75)
Blairgowrie, Perthshire, Scotland
|Alma mater||University of St Andrews
University of Edinburgh
|Employer||Army Surgeon (1806)
Army Surgeon in India (1815–18)
Surgeon, 33rd Foot (1818–23)
Practicing Physician and Surgeon, Edinburgh
Lecturer in Military Surgery, Edinburgh University (1823)
Professor of Military Surgery, Edinburgh University (1823–55)
Ballingall was son of the Rev Robert Ballingall, minister of Forglen, Banffshire, where he was born. He studied at St Andrews University, and in 1803 proceeded to the University of Edinburgh (MD 1803), where he was assistant to John Barclay, lecturer on anatomy.
He was appointed assistant-surgeon of the 2nd battalion 1st Royals in 1806, with which he served some years in India; in November 1815 he became surgeon of the 33rd foot, and retired on half-pay in 1818.
In 1823 he was chosen (in preference to the more experienced David Maclagan) as lecturer on Military Surgery at the University of Edinburgh, which then, and for some years afterwards, was the only place in the United Kingdom where special instruction was given in a department of surgical science, the importance of which had too plainly been demonstrated during the long war just ended.
In 1825 Ballingall succeeded to the chair of military surgery, the duties of which he discharged with untiring zeal for thirty years, only ending with his death.
He was knighted in 1830 on the occasion of the accession of King William IV.
In 1832-3 his address is recorded as 13 Heriot Row in Edinburgh.
In 1836 he was elected President of the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh.
Ballingall, who was a fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and corresponding member of the French Institute, was author of various professional works, the most important being:
- Observations on the Diseases of European Troops in India
- Observations on the Site and Construction of Hospitals
- Outlines of Military Surgery
The last, which is still regarded as an instructive work, went through five editions, the fifth appearing at the time of the Russian war, shortly before the Ballingall's death.
- Waterston, Charles D; Macmillan Shearer, A (July 2006). Former Fellows of the Royal Society of Edinburgh 1783–2002: Biographical Index (PDF). I. Edinburgh: The Royal Society of Edinburgh. ISBN 978-0-902198-84-5. Retrieved 2 February 2011.