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Biographical entry Atkinson, Leicester (1917 - 1993)

MRCS 1940; FRCS 1949; DMRT 1952; LRCP 1940; FRACS 1960; Hon FACR 1972.

25 May 1917
London, UK
9 August 1993
Yass, New South Wales, Australia
Radiation oncologist


Leicester Atkinson was a consultant radiation oncologist. He was born in London on 25 May 1917, the son of Guy Christopher Leicester Atkinson and Agnes née Mingay. He was educated at King Edward VI School, Bury St Edmunds, and then studied medicine at the Middlesex Hospital, where after qualifying he completed junior posts. After National Service in the Royal Navy as a surgeon-lieutenant, he returned to the Middlesex Hospital to specialise in radiotherapy.

In 1954 he emigrated to Sydney, Australia, as director of radiotherapy at St Vincent’s Hospital. Thirteen years later, in 1967, he moved to become director of the new institute of radiation oncology at the Prince of Wales Hospital. During this time he was a consultant radiation oncologist to the Women’s Hospital, the Royal Hospital for Women, and the St George Hospital. He collaborated with Noel Newton in providing a combined radiation and surgical service, and set up visiting consulting services to rural areas surrounding Newcastle, Wagga Wagga, Tamworth and Wollongong, with regular clinics staffed by visiting specialists.

He was a stickler for accurate observation and documentation, illustrating his own records with clearly-labelled diagrams. He also insisted on reviewing the pathology of all his cases, an innovation at that time.

Atkinson later became interested in the epidemiology of cancer, which took him to New Guinea and other countries, and motivated him to set up cancer registries.

He was a keen golfer and a great supporter of the English cricket XI. He married Maria Jenvey in 1945 and they had one son. He died at Yass, New South Wales, on 9 August 1993 and is survived by his son, daughter-in-law and three grandchildren.

John Blandy

Sources used to compile this entry: [Information from Gordon Adler and the RACS].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England