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Biographical entry Lewis, Cecil Wilfred Dickens (1916 - 2006)

MRCS and FRCS 1948; BSc Wales 1936; MB BCh 1939; MCh 1952; LRCP 1948; FRACS 1958.

5 January 1916
Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire, Wales
19 March 2006
Abergavenny, Wales
General surgeon


Cecil Wilfred Dickens Lewis was a former foundation director of postgraduate medical education at Hong Kong University. He was born on 5 January 1916 in Llandeilo, Carmarthenshire, the son of Wilfred Ernest Llewellyn Lewis, an Anglican clergyman, and Dorothy Gertrude Lewis. Most of his relatives were clergy, but one brother was a medical practitioner. He was educated at St John’s School, Leatherhead, and the Welsh National School of Medicine, Cardiff, where he qualified in 1939.

At the outbreak of the Second Wold War he joined the RNVR, where he served in Q-ships in the English Channel, on HMS Ripley (a destroyer in North Atlantic convoys) and finally as a medical officer to the Royal Marines at Eastney, Hampshire.

After the war, he returned to Cardiff as assistant lecturer in anatomy and then as registrar and lecturer in the surgical unit. Here he published extensively, together with Lambert Rogers, and did research into fluid balance following head injuries, which became the subject of his MS thesis, the second to be awarded by the University of Wales. He was appointed consultant surgeon at Cardiff in 1954.

In 1956 he was appointed foundation professor of surgery in Perth, Western Australia, a post he held until 1965. He then went on to be dean and professor of medical education at Auckland. In 1973 he was appointed foundation director of postgraduate medical education in Hong Kong University, where he remained until 1978.

At the College he won the Jacksonian prize in 1955, and a Hunterian professorship on moles and melanomata in 1956.

He married Betsy Jean Pillar in 1940, and Helen Mary Hughan in 1988. He had two sons (Peter Wyndham Dickens and David Robin Dickens) and a daughter (Celia Rosemary). A son, Robin, predeceased him. Among his many hobbies he included water-colour painting and sculpture, playing the clarinet and wood-turning. A committed Christian, he was a member of the Third Order of St Francis for the last 20 years of his life. He died on 19 March 2006 in Abergavenny.

The Royal College of Surgeons of England