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Biographical entry Glaser, Sholem (1912 - 2006)

MRCS 1936; FRCS 1937; BSc Cape Town 1931; MB BS London 1936; MSc Cape Town 1932; LRCP 1936.

12 May 1912
Cape Town, South Africa
31 January 2006
General surgeon


Sholem Glaser was a general surgeon at the Royal United Hospital in Bath. Born on 12 May 1912 in Cape Town, the son of Hessel Glaser, a fruit-grower, and Sonia née Zuckerman, he was educated at the South African College School and the University of Cape Town, where he followed his cousin Solly Zuckerman as senior demonstrator of anatomy and won the Croll memorial scholarship. He was an enthusiastic climber, and indeed courted his wife Rose Nochimovitz on Table Mountain. They were married in 1934. He then entered the London Hospital for his clinical studies, where he won the Frederick Treves prize in clinical surgery and the Sutton prize in pathology, gained honours in his MB BS, and again demonstrated anatomy while he studied for the FRCS.

At the outbreak of war he volunteered for the RAMC and was for a time a regimental medical officer in Edinburgh before being posted to Bath Military Hospital. He served as major with 8 Casualty Clearing Station in North Africa, where he was the first British surgeon ashore with the Allied landing. He was later at the landing in Salerno. Finally he was promoted Lieutenant Colonel in command of a surgical division. His experience in Italy prompted a lifelong interest in the Italian language, which he continued to study in retirement.

He travelled extensively in North America, visiting teaching centres, including the Mayo Clinic, before being appointed consultant surgeon to the Royal United Hospitals, Bath. There he set about organising postgraduate teaching for general practitioners and surgical trainees, offering the latter beer and sandwiches at home. He developed a special interest in urology, and was a highly respected member of BAUS. He retired in 1971.

In addition to several surgical papers he published a biography of Caleb Hillier Parry and wrote several entries for the Dictionary of National Biography. His many hobbies included needlework, at which he was very skilled, fly-fishing, and medical history. In the sixties he took up fruit farming in Devon.

Sholem was a delightful, amusing and stimulating companion. He died on 31 January 2006.

The Royal College of Surgeons of England