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Biographical entry Upsdell, Jack (1919 - 1997)

MRCS 1945; FRCS 1950: MB BCh Cambridge 1945; MA Cambridge; FRACS 1960; LRCP 1945.

18 May 1919
Wembley, Middlesex, UK
25 September 1997
Hamilton, New Zealand
General surgeon


Jack Upsdell was surgeon superintendent to the Whakatane Hospital in New Zealand. He was born on 18 May 1919 in Wembley, Middlesex. His mother was Caroline Ruth née Barrat and his father, George Edgar Skynner Upsdell was a priest who became headmaster of the Central British School in Hong Kong. His grandfather had been a headmaster in Sissinghurst, Kent. Jack was educated at the Central British School in Hong Kong, Falconbury Prep School in Bexhill and Westminster School. He studied medicine at Queen's College, Cambridge and the Middlesex Hospital where he was given a scholarship.

His early appointments were as orthopaedic house surgeon to the Middlesex and resident surgical registrar to Mount Vernon Hospital, Northwood. He was also surgical registrar to the Civil General Hospital in Singapore and to Epsom General Hospital. Moving to Australia he was appointed clinical assistant to the Royal Adelaide Hospital, South Australia before taking up the post of surgeon to the Ashburton Hospital, New Zealand.
He then became surgeon superintendent to the Whakatane Hospital serving the Bay of Plenty area in New Zealand.

In 1944 he married Mary Eileen Isobel Dick on 18 April in Blackheath, London. They had five children; Marion, John, Martin, Timothy and David. While in Australia Jack was a medical officer with the Bush Church Aid Flying Medical Service and he listed 'the Church' as his sole extra-curricular interest. Mary died on 12 November 1989 in Hamilton, New Zealand and Jack married Patricia Stringer in December 1990. He died on 25 September 1997 in Hamilton, aged 76 years.

Tina Craig

The Royal College of Surgeons of England