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Biographical entry Ferguson, William Glasgow (1919 - 2005)

MRCS and FRCS 1951; MB BS Durham 1942; LRCP 1951; FRACS 1959.

4 March 1919
Whitley Bay, Northumberland
20 July 2005
Omeo, Victoria, Australia
Thoracic surgeon


William Glasgow Ferguson, or 'Fergie' as he was known, was a thoracic surgeon in Victoria, Australia. He was born in Whitley Bay, Northumberland, on 4 March 1919, the son of William and Sara Ferguson. He studied medicine at Durham, where he qualified in 1942.

After four months as a house surgeon at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne, he joined the RAMC and was posted to 144 Field Ambulance, Hull, and in the following March went to Accra, where he served in 2 (WA) Field Ambulance until April 1944, when he went with his field ambulance to Burma. There he was promoted to major and, in the following year, commanded 4 (WA) Field Ambulance with the rank of lieutenant colonel, being mentioned in despatches. At the end of the war he brought his field ambulance back to West Africa and was demobilised in 1946.

On his return to the UK, he became a demonstrator of anatomy at the University of Durham, did general surgical training at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, completed the Guy's course and passed the final FRCS. He then decided to specialise in thoracic surgery, undergoing specialist registrar and senior registrar posts at the Royal Victoria Infirmary and the Shotley Bridge Regional Thoracic Surgical Centre. He was awarded the American Association for Thoracic Surgery travelling fellowship in 1953 as a post-doctoral first assistant.

In 1958 he moved to Australia, as staff superintendent of Sydney Hospital. Two years later, he became a consultant at Goulburn Valley Base Hospital, Victoria, where he remained until he retired in 1985. He then continued in general practice in Omeo, Victoria, until 1992.

He was previously married to Helen née Cowan. He had three children - two sons (Tim and Richard) and a daughter (Lisa). He died in Omeo, Victoria, on 20 July 2005, aged 86. He was also survived by a partner, Anne.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Daily Telegraph 26 July 2005; information from Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Archive].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England