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Biographical entry Foss, Martin Vincent Lush (1938 - 2008)

MRCS and FRCS 1968; BA Cambridge 1959; LMSSA 1962; BChir 1962; MB 1963; FRCS Edinburgh 1967; LRCP 1968.

12 February 1938
Bristol, UK
2 February 2008
Orthopaedic surgeon and Trauma surgeon


Martin Foss was a consultant trauma and orthopaedic surgeon at Luton and Dunstable Hospital. He was born in Bristol on 12 February 1938, the son of George Lush Foss, a general practitioner, and Eileen Isabelle née Buller. His paternal grandfather, Edwin Vincent Foss, was also a general practitioner. Martin was educated at St Michael’s Preparatory School and at Marlborough, from which he entered Jesus College, Cambridge, going on to University College Hospital for his clinical course.

After qualifying he became house surgeon to David Matthews and Doreen Nightingale at University College Hospital and then house physician to Lord Amulree at St Pancras Hospital, the UCH geriatric unit. Between 1964 and 1966 he worked for Donal Brooks and Kenneth Stone as orthopaedic and casualty senior house officer at the Barnet General Hospital, followed by a further year as an orthopaedic senior house officer at the North Middlesex Hospital. This was followed by two years as general surgical registrar at the Whittington Hospital, during which time he passed the FRCS of both colleges. He then specialised in orthopaedics and trauma, first as an orthopaedic registrar at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital and then as a senior orthopaedic registrar at University College Hospital.

In 1973 he was appointed consultant orthopaedic and trauma surgeon at the Luton and Dunstable Hospital. He retired in 1996, having served as medical director of the Luton and Dunstable NHS Trust from 1991 to 1996.

Martin undertook the full range of orthopaedic surgery in a very busy unit on the M1 motorway, but had a special interest in paediatric orthopaedics. His only publication was on bone density, osteoarthritis of the hip and fracture of the upper end of the femur in 1972.

At Cambridge he played a full part in college life and won his oar in the successful first VIII. He loved the outdoor life, birdwatching, painting, walking and, after he retired, travelling. He was a lifelong freemason, gaining high office as provincial grand master for Bedfordshire.

He married Anthea Noelle Johnson in 1963 (they divorced 1992), with whom he had two daughters, Victoria Charlotte and Caroline Louise. He died on 2 February 2008.

Alan Lettin

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 2008 336 897].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England