College of Medicine & Veterinary Medicine


1960s Dick Vet graduate Roger Stanley Windsor on student life and a career that has seen him establish veterinary laboratories across four continents.

RAG Week
(L-R) Alan Wilson, John Trethewey, Marlene Luebe and Roger Windsor

As a vet student in Edinburgh in the late fifties Roger Windsor made the most of his student experience. Jackets and ties might have been standard attire for farm visits as well as classes, but socially student life was as vibrant and hectic as it is now.

Student life

Working hours were long but Roger found time for rugby and parties as well as playing his part in the outlandish schemes that accompanied RAG Week. On one occasion he was part of a group of students who famously ‘kidnapped’ the Aberdeen Charities Queen and brought her to Edinburgh for the Charities Procession. Despite being exhibited in a cage during the parade, Roger is keen to stress that Marlene was a happy and willing participant and very well looked after during her surprise excursion.

Another highlight of being a Dick Vet student at the time was the annual escorting of the, finest herd of Exmoor ponies in Scotland back to their home in Fife after being lent to the Youth Hostel Association for summer trekking trips. The ponies belonged to anatomy lecturer Jimmy Speed who entrusted his students to ride the ponies back to Fife via the ferry over the Forth.

Born free

Now retired from veterinary practise and the owner of a contemporary art gallery in Dumfries, the adventurousness and adaptability that Roger showed as a student is evident in a career that has established veterinary laboratories in four continents.

During the 1960s and 70s Roger had spells working in England on epidemics such as foot and mouth disease but it is away from the UK that his skills and expertise have been most in demand. In Southern Peru in the late 1980s, not only did the veterinary investigation service he established there eradicate brucellosis in the region, it also resulted in Roger being awarded an MBE.

He has also worked in Kenya with George and Joy Adamson (of Born Free fame) and feels particular pride in the laboratory and team he set up in Botswana and their part in maintaining the country’s vital meat exportation contracts to Europe.

I have had a very privileged career and have worked in many different countries with many different nationalities. It is probably true to say that I am unique in that I have developed laboratories in four continents - Europe, Africa, South America and Asia. I have worked hard but have had enormous fun. My wife has been a great companion and we have three delightful children, the two boys being graduates of Edinburgh.

Roger Windsor

Swapping animals for art

Roger Windsor and his wife Maxine
Roger Windsor and his wife Maxine at a recent Dick Vet Ball in the Assembly Rooms

Before retiring in the late 90s, Roger returned to Scotland where he headed up the Veterinary Investigation Centre at the Scottish Agricultural College in Dumfries.

Retirement has been fairly busy for Roger so far, as well as the gallery in Dumfries he has published two books in six years. In Roger’s recently launched book ‘More Sherlock Holmes than James Herriot’ he takes readers on a journey of veterinary detective work informed by his global travels and unique experiences, something that he clearly has no shortage of.

Related links

Royal (Dick) School of Veterinary Studies