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Biographical entry Lessington-Smith, Caroline Mathilda (1918 - )

MRCS 1941; FRCS 1946; DLO 1953; LRCP 1941.

25 May 1918
ENT surgeon


Caroline Lessington-Smith was an ENT surgeon at King’s College Hospital, London. Born Caroline van Dorp on 25 May 1918, she was the daughter of a Dutch pastor based in London. She qualified at the London School of Medicine for Women in 1941 and, choosing ENT as a career, she became senior registrar to the ENT departments at the Royal Hospital, Sheffield, and the Royal Infirmary, Leicester, and senior registrar to the department of surgery of the General Hospital, Leicester. She was subsequently appointed as surgeon in charge of the ENT department of St Giles Hospital, Camberwell, and the Dulwich Hospital. She was interested in paediatric ENT and later worked at the Belgrave Hospital for Children. All three of these hospitals became part of the King's College Hospital group in the early 1960s.

A highly intelligent and amiable colleague, she brought her extensive experience to the foreign body endoscopy unit at Camberwell and published a paper in the Journal of Laryngology & Otology (1954) entitled ‘Unusual foreign body in the maxillary antrum’, which turned out to be a flat metal ring measuring 7.7cms in diameter which had penetrated the antrum. A year earlier she wrote ‘Tonsillectomy for carcinoma of the tonsil in a dog – with survival’ in the Veterinary Record.

Whilst at Camberwell in 1963 she met and married Hugh Sim, who had been injured at the Battle of Arnhem and was at the time a hospital administrator. They had two sons. Hugh died whilst Caroline was still working and, shortly after her retirement in the mid 1970s, she remarried and lived in her delightful cottage in Mayfield, East Sussex. She is believed to have died in late 2001 or early 2002, as noted in the Medical Directory 2002.

Neil Weir

The Royal College of Surgeons of England