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Biographical entry Gould, Alfred Leslie Pearce (1887 - 1918)

MRCS July 31st 1913; FRCS June 8th 1916; MB BCh Oxon 1913; MCh 1916; LRCP Lond 1913.

General surgeon


The third and youngest son of Sir Alfred Pearce Gould, KCVO (qv). He was born in London and educated at Fretherne House School. He entered Charterhouse in 1900 and left in 1905 after gaining the junior and senior scholarships. He matriculated with an open classical exhibition at Christ Church, Oxford, and afterwards was elected a Junior Student. He devoted the first two years of his residence in the university to reading for Classical Moderations, but graduated BA in 1909 with 1st Class Honours in the Natural Science School. He entered University College Hospital, London, in October, 1909, winning the Erichsen Gold Medal for Practical Surgery in 1913 and the Aitchison Scholarship in 1914. Three years later - 1917 - he was elected Radcliffe Travelling Fellow in the University of Oxford, the Fellowship having been already held by his elder brother, Eric Lush Pearce Gould, FRCS, in 1913.

Alfred Leslie Pearce Gould acted as Obstetric Assistant at University College Hospital to Dr Herbert Spencer and as House Physician to Sir John Rose Bradford. He was just beginning his term of office as House Surgeon to Mr Wilfred Trotter when war was declared, and he accepted a commission as Temporary Surgeon in the Navy on Aug 4th, 1914. He served at Haslar for a year, was appointed to a hospital ship in the Mediterranean, and was present at the evacuation of Suvla Bay.

He was invalided home with an attack of enteric fever in 1916 and was posted to the Royal Naval Hospital, Plymouth, where he was Operating Surgeon for eighteen months in succession to J Keogh Murphy (qv). He was transferred at his own request in January, 1918, to the Naval Division in France, and was gazetted Regimental Medical Officer to the Royal Marine Light Infantry. His battalion was in action early in the morning of May 19th, 1918. He was busy attending the wounded at the aid-post; a shell exploded close by and he was killed instantly.

He was a fine musician, a keen and skilful fisherman, an admirable horseman, and a very successful photographer. He was, moreover, a good classical scholar.

By his will Surgeon Lieutenant Pearce Gould left a number of bequests to religious and philanthropic institutions, and provided that, if he died on active service, £1000 5 per cent War Stock should go towards the reduction of the National Debt.

"Epidemic Cerebrospinal Meningitis, with Report of 31 Cases" (with B J Ronsow). -Jour Roy Naval Med Ser, 1915, I, 255.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Lancet, 1918, I, 886, with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England