Browse Fellows


www Lives

Biographical entry Staunton, Michael Douglas Mary (1925 - 2005)

MRCS and FRCS 1957; BA Dublin 1948; MB BCh BAO 1949; MA MCh 1961; Hon LLD Dublin 1993; LRCP 1957.

8 September 1925
Swinford, County Mayo, Ireland
31 August 2005
General surgeon


Michael Douglas Mary Staunton, known as 'Dudley', was a general surgeon in London with an interest in oncology. He was born on 8 September 1925 in Swinford, County Mayo, Ireland, where his father Michael Douglas Staunton was a dispensary doctor. His mother was Ursula Mellett. Of the six children, all became doctors. From Blackrock College, Dublin - 'the best rugger school in Ireland' - he went on to Trinity College Dublin to study medicine, and did house jobs at Dr Steevens Hospital, before going to Bristol Royal Infirmary, where he worked for Ashton Miller.

In 1952 he did his National Service in the RAMC, mostly in 37th BMH Accra, Ghana, as a junior surgical specialist. In 1955 he returned to marry Rena Stokes, a radiographer from Tipperary, and to become surgical registrar at the Morriston Hospital, Swansea. Having passed the FRCS, he became a senior registrar at the Royal Marsden Hospital, training in cancer surgery under Ronald Raven.

In 1964 he was appointed as a consultant surgeon to the Metropolitan, St Leonard's and the Royal London Homoeopathic hospitals, and in due course to the Hackney Hospital and St Bartholomew's (1980) and finally Homerton Hospital (1986). He was an enthusiastic tutor and examiner for the College, ending as chairman of the Court in 1982. He published extensively, mainly on cancer of the breast and thyroid.

A keen member of the Territorial Army, he retired with the rank of lieutenant colonel. Among his many other interests were rugby, genealogy, his old college (he was chairman of the Trinity College Dublin Dining Club from 1985 to 1994) and the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries. A colourful, amusing and delightful colleague, he died on 31 August 2005 from carcinoma of the prostate. He had two sons, a daughter and two grandchildren.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 2006 332 56; information from Rena Staunton].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England