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Biographical entry Gayton, William Robertson (1912 - 2004)

MRCS and FRCS 1940; MB BS Melbourne 1935; FRACS 1948.

8 February 1912
Richmond, Victoria, Australia
12 January 2004
Orthopaedic surgeon


William Robertson Gayton was an orthopaedic surgeon at St Vincent’s Hospital, Melbourne. He was born in Richmond, Victoria, on 8 February 1912, the fourth child and second son of Henry John Albert Gayton, a bank official, and Mary Josephine née Brennan. He was educated at Xavier College on a junior government scholarship, and then went on to Newman College, Melbourne University, on a senior government scholarship. He went on to Melbourne Medical School, where he gained first class honours in medicine and obstetrics, and the Ryan prize in medicine.

In 1936 he was a resident at St Vincent’s Hospital in Melbourne. He then went to the UK, where he was a resident medical officer in London and then Northampton. From 1940 to 1941 he was a resident surgical officer in Plymouth.

He joined the Australian Army Medical Corps in London in April 1941. He was a surgeon with the 2nd/3rd Casualty Clearing Station at El Alamein, and also took part in the landings at Lai and Finchaven in New Guinea. He was a surgeon to the 119 Australian General Hospital at Cairns and also officer in charge of the surgical division of 116 Australian General Hospital in New Britain. He was discharged in January 1946.

From 1946 to 1972 he was an orthopaedic surgeon at St Vincent’s Hospital. He then became a consulting orthopaedic surgeon at the same hospital. From 1946 to 1975 he was a visiting orthopaedic surgeon at Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital.

He married Mary Thomson in 1949 and they had three sons and two daughters. He was a member of the Victoria Racing Club. He enjoyed fishing, watching cricket and lawn bowls. He died on 12 January 2004.

The Royal College of Surgeons of England