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Biographical entry Temple, Leslie Joseph (1915 - 2004)

MRCS 1939; FRCS 1941; MB BS London 1948; BA Liverpool 2001; LRCP 1939.

London, UK
10 July 2004
Thoracic surgeon


Leslie Temple was a consultant thoracic surgeon at Broadgreen Hospital, Liverpool. He was born in London in 1915 and studied medicine at University College Hospital. After qualifying in 1939, he completed house posts in Aylesbury and Canterbury, and was then a resident surgical officer at Wigan Infirmary, Lancashire, where he gained his FRCS in 1941. Joining the RAMC, he served with a field hospital on the Normandy beaches on D-Day, and was later posted to Belgium and then India.

Following demobilisation in 1947, he was appointed as a consultant thoracic surgeon at Broadgreen Hospital, Liverpool. He was also a consultant to Nobles Hospital, in Douglas on the Isle of Man, and to Machynlleth Hospital, mid Wales.

He made significant contributions to the treatment of lung cancer and tuberculosis in both adults and children. In 1962 he carried out some of the first open heart operations in England for mitral valve disease, and went on to help establish Liverpool as a major centre for cardiac surgery. Surgeons from around the world, including Australia, Canada, Greece and the Sudan, were trained and encouraged by him.

Outside medicine, he was a keen squash player and an avid hill-walker, once completing ascents of Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis within 24 hours. On his 80th birthday he led a party of family and friends round the Snowdon Horseshoe. After he retired he took a three-year BA degree course in humanities at Chester College, University of Liverpool, graduating with honours in 2001.

He died from an aortic dissection on 10 July 2004. He was predeceased by his wife, Barbara, and leaves a son, John, and a daughter, Anne. There are six grandchildren, one of whom, Andrew John, is a surgeon and an FRCS. There are three great grandchildren.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 2004 329 688, with portrait.].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England