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Biographical entry Cunningham, John Andrew Derek Joseph (1924 - 2009)

MRCS and FRCS 1966; LRCPI and LM 1948; FRCSI 1950.

21 January 1924
Belfast, UK
9 April 2009
General surgeon


John Andrew Cunningham, usually known as Derek, was a wing commander in the RAF. Born in Belfast on 21 January 1924, his father was Joseph Cunningham, a draper and his mother, Elsie née O'Connell, was a housewife. He attended Farranferris School in Cork and Belvedere College in Dublin. At the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland he won the Biological Society medal for debate in 1945 and the Richmond gold medal for surgery in 1946 and passed the FRCSI in 1950. His early clinical training was at Richmond Hospital, Dublin. On moving to Cornwall, he was house surgeon at the West Cornwall Hospital in Penzance before becoming registrar in general surgery to Burslem Hospital in Stoke-on-Trent. He served in the RAF as a surgical specialist from 1951 to 1966 and then joined the Sheffield Regional Hospital Board (1967-70) before being appointed consultant surgeon in Grimsby where he worked until he retired in 1987.

While in Cornwall he met Elizabeth Marion Madron who was a ward sister at the West Cornwall Hospital and he married her on 1 February 1951. They had two sons, Angus and Bruce. He enjoyed playing golf and listed philately and scale model aircraft among his many interests. He died on 9 April 2009 aged 85, survived by his wife, children and five grandchildren.

Tina Craig

The Royal College of Surgeons of England