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Biographical entry Bidwell, Leonard Arthur (1865 - 1912)

MRCS Jan 21st 1887; FRCS Oct 9th 1890; LSA 1886.

2 September 1912
General surgeon


Son of Leonard Bidwell, Chief Clerk in the General Post Office. Educated at Blackheath School, and entered St Thomas’s Hospital in 1882, where he was a House Surgeon. He then studied in Paris, was appointed Assistant Surgeon to the West London Hospital in 1891, and became Surgeon in 1906. There he distinguished himself in the surgery of the abdomen, and more especially as a teacher and administrator in the Post-Graduate College. The Post-Graduate College at the West London Hospital was initiated by Charles Bell Keetley (qv) in 1894, but to Bidwell was due, in the main, its rapid rise to success. He became Dean of the School in 1896 and held that position until his death. In the first three years of the School’s existence it was attended by 50 graduates, and in the last three years of Bidwell’s life (1909-1912) by 671 graduates. The number of entries during his term of office exceeded 2500. Bidwell was also Surgeon to the Florence Nightingale Hospital, to the Blackheath and Charlton Hospital, and to the City Dispensary. He served as Surgeon Major in the Buckinghamshire Yeomanry.

His death occurred from acute appendicitis on Sept 2nd, 1912. He had married Dorothea, daughter of Sir J Ropes Parkington, Bart, in 1896; she survived him together with three sons and two daughters. He practised at 15 Upper Wimpole Street.

Bidwell devoted his attention chiefly to abdominal surgery. His Handbook of Intestinal Surgery, 1905, 2nd ed 1910, was one of the best text-books of the day. In addition from 1893 he made many special communications upon abdominal surgery, on “Undescended Testicle”, “Gastro-jejunostomy”, “Fixation of the Colon in Inguinal Colotomy”, “Extra-uterine Gestation with Resection of 5 inches of Intestine”, “Intestinal Anastomosis”, “Transverse Colectomy and Ileo-sigmoidostomy”, “Pyloroplasty”, “Varieties of Dilated Stomach”, “Pulmonary Embolism after Abdominal Operations”.

His Minor Surgery, published in 1911, with 88 illustrations, was so successful, that a second edition was required in the following year, and included 129 illustrations.

He edited the Proceedings of the West London Medico-Chirurgical Society, and when this developed into the Journal he became Editorial Secretary.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit. Med. Jour., 1912, ii, 666, with portrait. Lancet, 1912, ii, 797, with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England