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Biographical entry Gilbert, Barton (1908 - 2006)

MRCS 1932, FRCS 1933, BSc London 1929, MB BS 1932, MD 1934, LRCP 1932, MRCOG 1936, FRCOG 1949.

28 October 1908
London, UK
3 February 2006
Orange County, California, USA
Obstetric and gynaecological surgeon


Barton Gilbert was a consultant in gynaecology and obstetrics. He was born in Wembley, London, on 28 October 1908. His father, Ernest Jesse Gilbert, was an accountant. His mother, Amy Louise (whose maiden name was also Gilbert), was the daughter of a leather-merchant. His family was descended from William Gilbert, president of the College of Physicians during the time of Queen Elizabeth I.

During the First World War Barton went to school in Bordeaux, and later went to Middlesex County School, Isleworth, before going to study medicine at St Thomas's Hospital. At St Thomas's he was awarded the university entrance science scholarship in 1928. He also gained a BSc in physiology, the William Tite and Musgrove scholarships in anatomy and physiology, and the Haddon prize for pathology.

After qualifying he completed junior posts at St Thomas's, working for Nitch and Mitchiner. He then went as RMO to the City of London Maternity Hospital and then the Chelsea Hospital for Women, where he was influenced by Victor Bonney and Sir Comyns Berkeley. In 1936 he returned to St Thomas's as registrar in obstetrics and gynaecology. He was subsequently appointed to the consultant staff of the Chelsea Hospital for Woman.

During the Second World War he worked in the Emergency Medical Service, and later in the RAMC, serving mainly in Africa.

At the end of the war he settled in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia, in gynaecological practice, the first gynaecological surgeon in that country. He helped to set up its medical school and taught gynaecology and obstetrics there. He was consultant in gynaecology and obstetrics to the government and its armed forces. He retired in 1972.

He published many papers and was co-author, with R Christie Brown, of the textbook Midwifery: principles and practice for pupil midwives, teacher midwives and obstetric dressers (London, Edward Arnold, 1940), which passed through many editions.

Following his retirement he went to live in Orange County, California, where he died on 3 February 2006. He married Rosamund Marjorie Luff in 1941, by whom he had twin sons, Brian and Keith, who became scientific instrument makers. He married for a second time, to Anne.

The Royal College of Surgeons of England