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Biographical entry Keiller, Francis Edwyn Swinnerton (1927 - 2007)

MBE 1963; MB ChB Bristol 1954; FRCS Edin 1957; FRCS 1965; FRACS 1973; BA 1985.

20 July 1927
9 June 2007
Canberra, Australia
General surgeon


Francis Edwyn Swinnerton Keiller, known as 'Frank', was a senior consultant surgeon in the Royal Air Force, retiring with the rank of wing commander. He was born on 20 July 1927 in Nottingham. The family name was originally 'Killer' but, as he writes, he 'changed to Keiller on taking up medicine'. His father, Francis William, was a priest; his mother, Mary Elizabeth née Bradney, was a teacher. He was educated at Victoria College in Jersey. In 2000 he published Prison without bars: living in Jersey under the German occupation 1940-45 (Seaflower Books), detailing his experiences on the island during the Second World War.

He went on to serve in the RAF and afterwards studied medicine at the University of Bristol on an ex-service further education and training scheme. He qualified MB ChB in 1954.

He was a house surgeon and house physician at Bristol Royal Infirmary and then rejoined the RAF in 1958. He held various posts, including senior consultant surgeon to the Ghanaian Armed Forces in West Africa and also served in the UK, Aden, Cyprus and Singapore. In the latter part of his career he was a consultant surgeon in Traralgon, Victoria, Australia, and then a medico-legal consultant in Canberra. He was a member of the Provincial Surgeons of Australia and president in 1982.

Outside medicine he was interested in rugby, squash, golf and cross country skiing.

In 1948 he married Enid May née Glen. They had a daughter, Jennifer, and a son, Andrew. Frank Keiller died on 9 June 2007 in Canberra. He was 79.

Sarah Gillam

The Royal College of Surgeons of England