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Biographical entry Moore, Keith Arthur (1911 - 2005)

MRCS and FRCS 1940; MB BS Sydney 1936; LRCP 1940.

30 June 1911
Sydney, Australia
4 January 2005
General surgeon


Keith Moore was a consultant surgeon at North Middlesex Hospital. He was born on 30 June 1911, at Rose Bay, Sydney, Australia, the son of Frank Joshua Moore, an engineer, and Adela May née Bailey. He was educated at Brisbane Grammar School, and then Wesley College, Sydney University.

He went to England to work for his FRCS. In 1941 he enrolled in the RAMC and then served in the Middle East prior to the fall of Tobruk. He subsequently escaped from an Italian prisoner of war camp and walked south through enemy territory to rejoin the Allied Forces, who were by then advancing northwards.

After demobilisation he returned to Australia with an English bride, Evelyn Sarah Cowdeney (‘Sally’). They went on to have three daughters (Sarah, Charlotte and Jacqueline) and a son (Richard). He was soon appointed as a surgeon to the Children’s Hospital in Brisbane. He was unhappy with the ethos of private practice in Australia and in 1950 returned to England to work in the newly established National Health Service, the principles of which he admired. His subsequent appointment at the North Middlesex Hospital became his life’s work. He retired in 1976.

He was a cutting surgeon rather than a writing surgeon, despite having kept detailed personal diaries since he was a young man. His forte throughout his surgical career was discussing the rationale for his decisions concerning the treatment of his patients with his junior staff.

Much of his retirement was spent in fulfilling his life-long ambition to restore an old mill, which he had bought very cheaply and which finally became an idyllic residence and garden in Wiltshire. In his later years he was afflicted with rapidly increasing glaucoma-related blindness, which he accepted with remarkable stoicism. During this time he was ably supported by his devoted and understanding wife, Sally. He died on 4 January 2005.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 2005 330 794, with portrait; personal information from Raymond Hurt.].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England