Brian Sinclair (veterinary surgeon)

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Wallace Brian Vaughan Sinclair (27 September 1915 – 13 December 1988) was a British veterinary surgeon who worked for a time with his older brother Donald Sinclair and Donald's partner Alf Wight. Wight wrote a series of semi-autobiographical books under the pen name James Herriot, with Brian and Donald Sinclair appearing in fictionalised form as brothers Tristan and Siegfried Farnon.

Sinclair worked for his brother while studying veterinary medicine until he graduated from the Royal (Dick) Veterinary College in Edinburgh in 1943, subsequently joining the Royal Army Veterinary Corps in India. On demobilisation, he joined the Ministry of Agriculture's Sterility Advisory unit, rising to become head of the Veterinary Investigation Centre in Leeds. He was the model for the character Tristan Farnon in Wight's semi-autobiographical novels which were adapted in two films and television under the name All Creatures Great and Small. Tristan was portrayed as a charming rogue who was still studying veterinary medicine in the early books, constantly having to re-take examinations because of his lack of application, often found in the pub, and provoking tirades from his bombastic elder brother Siegfried. Sinclair made no objections to Wight's portrayal of him, and seemed rather to enjoy the celebrity, appearing on television and lecturing at veterinary schools all over the UK and elsewhere.

Sinclair married Sheila Rose Seaton in 1944, and they had three daughters.


  • Hillman, Bill. "The Alf Wight / James Herriot Story". Hillman EduTech Research Project. Brandon University. Archived from the original on 7 June 2009. Unknown parameter |url-status= ignored (help)
  • Wight, Jim (2001). The Real James Herriot: A Memoir of My Father. New York: Ballantine Books. ISBN 0-345-43490-0. Search this book on Logo.png

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