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Biographical entry Wainwright, Denys (1908 - 2008)

MB ChB Liverpool 1932; MCh Orth 1934; FRCS Edin 1937; FRCS 1971; Hon DSc Keele 1975.

5 August 1908
St. Helens, Lancashire, UK
27 October 2008
Orthopaedic surgeon


Denys Wainwright was an orthopaedic surgeon in north Staffordshire. He was born on 5 August 1908 in St Helens, Lancashire, the son of Reginald Wainwright, an architect, and Marion Wainwright née Draper, a general practitioner. He was educated at Prescott Grammar School and then went to Liverpool University to study medicine, qualifying in 1932.

He held junior posts in Liverpool and Oswestry, and subsequently became a registrar to Sir Harry Platt and Sir John Charnley, the pioneer of hip replacement surgery. In 1937 he was appointed as a consultant surgeon to what is now the North Staffordshire Royal Infirmary in Stoke-on-Trent. He did much to improve orthopaedic and trauma services in the area.

He was president of the orthopaedic section of the Royal Society of Medicine in 1965 and vice president of the British Orthopaedic Association from 1973 to 1974.

He published extensively, particularly on the management of trauma and children's orthopaedics, was editor of The Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, and helped establish the journal Injury.

He retired in 1973, and went to live in north London. He continued to travel and teach, and was a visiting professor in Sudan.

Outside medicine, he was interested in golf, sailing, painting, bridge and skiing.

In 1937 he married Shelagh, whom he met in Liverpool. They had two sons, Richard and Anthony, and a daughter, Patty. Denys Wainwright died on 27 October 2008, at the age of 100. He was survived by his children: his wife predeceased him.

Sarah Gillam

Sources used to compile this entry: [J Bone Joint Surg [Br] 2009;91-B:283].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England