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Biographical entry Villet, Daniel De Gouret (1925 - 2011)

MB BS Cape Town 1949; FRCS 1954.

27 August 1925
South Africa
30 June 2011
Vascular surgeon


Daniel de Gourêt Villet was a surgeon in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. He was born in South Africa, the son of Daniel du Plessis Villet, a chartered accountant, and Agnes Cecilia Villet née Huxham, a secretary. The Villet family was descended from a Frenchman, Charles Matharin Villet, a naturalist and botanist, who arrived in South Africa in 1803 and started a menagerie.

Daniel Villet was educated at Bredasdorp High School, and came first in the matriculation examination in the Cape province. He then studied medicine at the University of Cape Town, gaining class medals in obstetrics and gynaecology, and qualifying in 1949.

He was a demonstrator in anatomy at the University of Cape Town in 1951, and then went to the UK. He held senior house office posts at Harlow Wood Orthopaedic Hospital, the thoracic unit at Nottingham City Hospital, and at Whittington Hospital, London. From 1954 to 1955 he was a resident surgical officer at Gloucestershire Royal Infirmary. He gained his FRCS in 1954.

He then returned to South Africa. From 1955 to 1957 he was a surgical registrar in the department of surgery at Groote Schuur Hospital, Cape Town, and, from 1958 to 1959, a surgical registrar at King Edward VIII Hospital, Durban.

He became an honorary consultant surgeon at Livingstone Hospital, Port Elizabeth, and was later a consultant surgeon in vascular surgery at the Provincial Hospital, Port Elizabeth, where he initiated and developed the department of vascular surgery. For many years he was the only vascular surgeon in the eastern Cape region.

He was also involved in a part-time capacity in forensic medicine, and from time to time worked as an assessor at inquests.

He was on the Provincial Hospital committee, and was chairman of the East Cape Association of Surgeons.

Outside medicine, he was at one time a temporary 'locum' church organist, sailed (fitting out his own yacht almost single-handed), played tennis and squash, and was interested in carpentry and music.

In 1979 he married Joan Valerie Powell, a nurse. They had four children - Mornet, Bronwyn, Glynnis and Carys. Daniel de Gourêt Villet died on 30 June 2011, at the age of 86. He was survived by his wife, children and five grandchildren.

Sarah Gillam

The Royal College of Surgeons of England