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Biographical entry Greaves, Desmond Peel (1920 - 2008)

MRCS and FRCS 1950; BSc Sheffield 1943; MB ChB 1944; DOMS 1947; LRCP 1950; FRCOphth 1988.

14 December 1920
Yorkshire, UK
11 March 2008
Ophthalmic surgeon


Desmond Peel Greaves was a consultant ophthalmic surgeon at University College and Moorfields Eye hospitals in London. He was born on 14 December 1920 in the West Riding of Yorkshire to Bernard Peel, an optician, and Beatrice Peel. He was educated at High Storrs Grammar School, Sheffield, and then went on to study medicine at the University of Sheffield, where he was the Edgar Allen scholar.

After qualifying, he was a demonstrator in anatomy at Sheffield before completing his National Service in the RAF, with the rank of flight lieutenant.

His ophthalmic training was at Moorfields Eye Hospital. From 1950 he was senior registrar and Pigott-Wernheiz research fellow at the Institute of Ophthalmology. He was appointed consultant ophthalmic surgeon to University College Hospital in 1952 and to Moorfields Eye Hospital in 1960. He was vice-dean and lecturer at the Institute of Ophthalmology. He was a recognised teacher in London University and a member of the Court of Examiners of our College. He retired in 1985.

He was a council member and honorary secretary of the Ophthalmological Society of the United Kingdom, a council member of the European Society of Ophthalmology from 1970 and in 1980 president.

From his student days he was an accomplished and enthusiastic pianist and a keen sailor, becoming a member of the Royal Thames Yacht Club.

He married Barbara in 1948. They had two children - Francis, who is a doctor, and Julia, a pharmacist. Desmond Greaves died on 11 March 2008.

Enid Taylor

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 2009 338 3062].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England