AT RENWICK'S request another small quantity of chloroform was applied to the towel, and, after a short time, it finally produced the desired effect.

Duncanson checked his pulse. It seemed to be normal and regular, so he carried out the operation, which took less than a couple of minutes to complete. The whole procedure went smoothly.

Renwick remained under the influence of the anaesthetic, but his breathing was regular, and everything seemed to be as it should be. However, it was taking a longer time than normal for him to come round.

Some cold water was then thrown on his face to rouse him, but it failed to have the desired effect so he resorted to other measures. These too had no effect.

After a few minutes, his breathing became less rhythmic and more laboured, and his face began change.

His pulse had become so weak it was barely registering, and this caused Dr Duncanson to feel duly alarmed.

Artificial respiration, a modern method of resuscitation at the time, was tried, and he administered this for nearly half-an-hour in the hope his friend would come round, but it was to no avail.

Dr. Renwick died shortly afterwards, aged 26. He had grown up in Musselburgh near Edinburgh, and had come to Alloa around six years beforehand, where he practised.

His professionalism, as well as his gentle manner quickly resulted in him having a large practice. He was held in high esteem by all who knew him.

Sixteen months before his death he had been married to Jeanie, the eldest daughter of Robert Knox, the local brewer at Cambus.

The sad event, which was not only felt in Alloa but in the wider region, was referred to by all the ministers of the town during their afternoon services that New Year's Day.

Rev. Peter McDowall, of Moncrieff United Free Church where Renwick was a member, made his death the subject of some solemn but notable remarks on his kindness towards not only his patients but everyone he met.

A while before his death Renwick had been troubled with severe pain in his chest, which caused him some concern as he thought his heart was failing, and it was known his father had died suddenly of heart disease.

Renwick was not the only physician to die from overdosing on chloroform. One died in Girvan in similar circumstances several years earlier.

It was not until 1911 it was proved chloroform could cause atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat so Renwick may, indeed, have had an underlying heart condition.