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Biographical entry Warrington, Alexander Joseph (1935 - 2008)

FRCS 1966; MD Malta 1958.

6 January 1935
Senglea, Malta
26 July 2008
General surgeon


Alex Warrington was a consultant surgeon in Sunderland. He was born in Senglea, Malta, on 6 January 1935, where his father, John Warrington, worked in the Naval Dockyard Office on the Sanglea promontory, which was heavily bombed during the Second World War. Fortunately the Warrington family had been evacuated to a safer part of Malta. His mother Maria née Lissano was a teacher. Alex was educated at the Lyceum and later the Royal University of Malta, where he studied medicine, won the Pfizer and anatomy prizes, and qualified MD in 1958. After house jobs at St Luke’s University Hospital, Malta, he married Franca Zammit Hammet, who became an anaesthetist.

They went to London in 1960, where he specialised in surgery and completed a number of junior and registrar posts at the West London, the Brook, Bethnal Green and Wanstead hospitals, before passing his FRCS in 1966. The same year, Alex and Franca, now with two daughters, decided to return to Malta, where he worked at St Luke’s Hospital for the next decade, gaining a considerable reputation and publishing on abdominal trauma in road traffic accidents.

Then, with the political upheaval of 1977, when scores of doctors were dismissed, the Warringtons returned to England, and Alex was appointed consultant surgeon to Sunderland District and Ryhope General hospitals in Sunderland. There his reputation grew and he became known as a perfectionist, with a special interest in general abdominal surgery and breast cancer.

His hobbies included classical music, painting, woodwork and Formula One racing. Together with Franca, he travelled extensively, never omitting a visit to their beloved Malta.

He died of cancer of the prostate on 26 July 2008, leaving his widow Franca, four daughters (Shirley, a paediatrician in Newcastle, Hilary, Isabelle and Monica) and six grandchildren.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 208 337 1637; information from Raphael Attard].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England