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Biographical entry Sames, Christopher Patrick (1912 - 2008)

MRCS 1937; FRCS 1939; MB BS London 1937; MS 1943; LRCP 1937.

17 January 1912
Enfield, Middlesex, UK
3 January 2008
General surgeon


Patrick Sames was a general surgeon in Bath with an interest in coloproctology. He was born on 17 January 1912 in Enfield, Middlesex, the only son of Christopher, a railway clerk, and Caroline née Radmore. He was a late entrant to medicine, leaving Harrow County School to become an apprentice in the fur trade, working at Debenham and Freebody in London for three years, before entering St Mary’s Hospital Medical School. There he was a good rugby player and excelled in academic studies, winning two prizes in pathology, as well as prizes in ophthalmology and surgery.

On qualifying in 1937 he held house officer posts at St Mary’s and the Royal Northern Hospital, Holloway. He then became a registrar at St Mary’s, before passing his final FRCS examination in 1939.

At the outbreak of war he was recruited into the Emergency Medical Service (EMS), in which he obtained considerable surgical experience with the victims of London bombing raids and evacuees from Dunkirk. He also obtained part-time appointments at St Mark’s Hospital for Diseases of the Rectum and the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital and gained the MS (London) in 1943. The terms of his engagement with the EMS meant that he was unable to join the armed services until 1945, when he was conscripted into the Royal Army Medical Corps as a surgical specialist with the rank of major. After spending two years in Nigeria he returned to civilian life and obtained the post of assistant director of the professorial surgical unit at St Mary’s.

During his early years in training, Sames was greatly influenced by the various chiefs for whom he worked – Charles Pannett, Arthur Dickson Wright, Hamilton Bailey, R J McNeil Love, Zachary Cope, W B Gabriel and Lancelot Barrington Ward.

Appointed as consultant surgeon to the Bath clinical area in 1950, Sames developed a special interest in coloproctology, publishing a number of articles in this field and becoming president of the section of proctology of the Royal Society of Medicine in 1967. He also served as a member of council of the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland and as a member of the editorial committee of the British Journal of Surgery. He was a founder member and secretary of the Surgical Sixty Club.

On retirement in 1977 he spent his time sailing, painting and rose-growing. A devoted Anglican and church warden, he published Autumn leaves: some personal reflections on the Christian life (Charter, 1999). His first wife, Margaret Porteus, by whom he had two sons and two daughters, died in 1970. He went on to marry Eleanor Brigham née Jenkins in 1971. She survives him. He died of heart failure on 3 January 2008.

Sir Barry Jackson

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 2008 337 2147].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England