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Biographical entry Kirby, Roger (1939 - 2008)

FRCS 1969; MB BS Durham 1962; MS Newcastle 1974; DObst RCOG 1964.

7 June 1939
26 November 2008
General surgeon


Roger Kirby was a consultant general surgeon at the University Hospital of Hartlepool. Born in Hartlepool in 1939, he was educated there and then proceeded to qualify MB, BS from Durham University in 1962 and to pass the fellowship of the College in 1969. He became senior surgical registrar at the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle upon Tyne and passed his MS in 1974. After this he spent a year at the Graduate Hospital, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia USA before returning to the UK to settle in Hartlepool in 1975.

He was appointed consultant general surgeon at the University Hospital of Hartlepool and remained there until his retirement in 2002. A general surgeon his special interest was gastroenterology. With a fellow Hartlepool surgeon, Professor Greg McLatchie, he removed a gall bladder using key hole surgery in 1992 - thought to be the first time such a technique was used in the area. The two colleagues, who worked together for 20 years, also became highly accomplished in doing pelvic clearance operations for advanced cancer - a topic on which they gave a presentation at the College in 1990.

A keen hill walker, he spent his holidays in the Lake District or West Highlands while in the UK and also hiked in the Austrian Alps, Yosemite National Park and the Canadian Rockies. He also enjoyed golf and tennis and was said to have a "highly technical knowledge of aeronautics".

He died at his home on 26 November 2008, aged 69 years, survived by his wife Marie, children Richard, Ian and Joanna and two grandchildren

Tina Craig

Sources used to compile this entry: [BM J 2009; 339: b3826; Hartlepool Mail at to pioneer surgeon 1-1032608 accessed 17 July 2014].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England