Dr John Robertson comes from a naval background; his father having been the gunnery officer in the famous British battle-cruiser HMS Hood. Dr Robertson joined the Royal Navy as a medical cadet and graduated from Edinburgh University in 1964, going on to serve a further six years as a doctor with the Royal Navy. Part of that time was spent as Staff Medical Officer to the Admiral of the British Western Fleet in his flagship HMS London.
Returning to civilian life, Dr Robertson specialised in Psychiatry working in various London teaching hospitals. He was made a Sub-Dean of the British Royal College of Psychiatrists in 1997.
Dr Robertson retired in 2002 and spends the winter months in Penang, where he is a member of the Penang Heritage Trust. He is married with two sons.