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Biographical entry Kinmonth, Maurice Henry (1917 - 2009)

MRCS LRCP 1939; MB BS London 1939; FRCS 1947.

14 May 1917
Lisdoonvarna, County Clare, Ireland
30 January 2009
Plastic surgeon


Maurice Kinmonth was a plastic surgeon in Leicester, Nottingham and Lincoln. He was born in Lisdoonvarna, County Clare, Ireland. His father, George Henry Kinmonth, was a general practitioner and on account of the deteriorating political situation in Ireland the family moved to London, where he was in practice in Dulwich. His mother was Delia Agnes Kinmonth née Daly. Maurice went to school at Dulwich College and then studied medicine at St Thomas' Hospital Medical School, qualifying in 1939. His brother, John, also studied medicine at St Thomas', eventually becoming professor of surgery there.

After qualifying, Maurice undertook house jobs at St Thomas's and Kingston hospitals. He joined the RAF in 1942 and was posted with 242 Squadron to the Far East. There he was captured by the Japanese and interned. He remained a prisoner of war (POW) in Java until 1945. He was mentioned in despatches in 1946.

After the war he trained in surgery at Kingston Hospital with Dick Franklin. He passed his FRCS in 1947 and then trained in plastic and reconstructive surgery with Richard Battle at St Thomas' and with David Matthews at Great Ormond Street Hospital.

In 1952 he was appointed as a consultant plastic surgeon to Leicester Royal Infirmary, covering Nottingham and Lincoln as well as Leicester. He worked single-handed until 1976. He undertook the full range of plastic surgery procedures treating burns, head and neck cancer, cleft lip and palate and hand surgery. His expertise in hand surgery brought him the presidency of the British Society for Surgery of the Hand and in 1981 he was president of the British Association of Plastic Surgeons.

He is described by one of his trainees as a 'knife man', as opposed to a 'scissor snipper'. His surgery was efficient, but always accompanied by non-stop conversation. His teaching was his strength, alongside kindness and compassion for his patients. His notes were illustrated with his own diagrams.

Retirement came in 1983 and he remained busy with many interests, including golf, shooting and fishing. He learnt wood engraving and made the comment 'wood doesn't bleed!'

In 1947 Maurice married Stella Phillips and they had two sons (Fred and Patrick) and two daughters (Ann Louise and Katherine).

Maurice Kinmonth died on 30 January 2009, aged 91. He said he would like to be remembered for developing plastic surgery in Leicester.

Brian Morgan

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Telegraph 1 February 2010 - accessed 20 May 2015].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England