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Biographical entry Large, John Garner (1920 - 2008)

MB BS London 1943; FRCS 1948; MS 1952; FRACS.

12 August 1920
Beira, Mozambique
24 October 2008
Melbourne, Australia
General surgeon


Paul Large was a general surgeon in Durban, South Africa, and then in Melbourne, Australia. He was born in Beira, Mozambique, on 12 August 1920, but was brought up in Durban. He was educated at Michaelhouse, a rural boarding school in Natal, and then, in 1938, went to the UK to study medicine at Guy's Hospital Medical School. He qualified MB BS in 1943, during the Second World War, and then became a house surgeon and house physician.

In 1944 he returned to South Africa. He joined the South African Air Force as a medical officer, and was demobilised at the end of the war. He chose to return to Guy's, in 1946, to train in surgery. He gained his FRCS in 1948 and his masters degree in surgery in 1952.

After a six-month fellowship in New York, Large returned to Durban in 1953 to work in private practice, and as a visiting surgeon at McCord Hospital and at the fledgling medical school based at King Edward VIII Hospital.

In 1958, disillusioned with Apartheid, Large decided to move to Melbourne, Australia. He was in private practice and was also a surgeon at Western General Hospital. He worked until his early eighties. On three occasions (in 1966, 1969 and 1972) he went to South Vietnam, as part of a civilian surgical team, treating battle injuries from the ongoing war.

Outside medicine, he continued his boyhood enthusiasm for dinghy sailing, and followed international rugby. He was also interested in history, and had a love and respect for the English language.

In 1952 he married Susan May, a nurse from Guy's. They had five children - Peter, Susanna, Richard, Catherine and Jonathan. Paul Garner Large died on 24 October 2008, aged 88.

Sarah Gillam

Sources used to compile this entry: [Med J Aust 2009; 190 (6): 325; BMJ 2009 338 268].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England