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Biographical entry MacHale, James Joseph (1915 - 2006)

MB BCh BAO NUI 1938; FRCSI 1940; FRCS 1947.

28 August 1915
Westport, County Mayo, Ireland
July 2006
Thoracic surgeon


James Joseph MacHale was a consultant thoracic surgeon in Birmingham. He was born in Westport, County Mayo, Ireland, on 25 August 1915, the son of Joseph Patrick MacHale, an insurance manager, and Grace MacHale née Moran, a housewife. He was educated at Blackrock College and then went on to University College and St Vincent's Hospital, Dublin. He gained honours in all his examinations and won the Richard Tobin junior prize, the special prize in surgery and the O'Ferrell gold medal in surgery. He qualified MB BCh BAO with first class honours in 1938.

He was a house surgeon at St Vincent's and then went to England. He was a casualty officer and a house surgeon in Middlesborough, and then, in 1941, joined the Army. He served for four years as a senior surgeon for No 3 Hospital Company.

Following his demobilisation, he was based at the Postgraduate Medical School of London. He also held a post at the London Chest Hospital. From 1947 to 1948, he carried out postgraduate work in Stockholm and Oslo.

In 1948 he became an assistant thoracic surgeon in Birmingham, and later the same year was appointed to his consultant post. He retired in 1980.

He was a member of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons and the Thoracic Society, and president of the Midland Thoracic Society in 1950.

He married Marguerite Byrne in 1950. They had four children - Joseph, Jane, Clare and James. James Joseph MacHale died in July 2006 aged 90.

Sarah Gillam

The Royal College of Surgeons of England