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Biographical entry Hall, John Basil (1868 - 1926)

MRCS Nov 13th 1890; FRCS (elected as a member of twenty years' standing) April 2nd 1925; MA MB BCh Cantab 1892; MCh 1899; FRCS Edin 1899; FACS 1924.

Leeds, UK
12 January 1926
Bradford, UK
General surgeon


Born at Leeds, the second son of William Hall, MRCS, who died in 1923, in his ninetieth year, a well-known practitioner in Leeds and an advocate of free meals for poor school-children. His paternal grandfather, Dr Matthew Hall, practised as an apothecary at Wortley, near Leeds, and his maternal grandfather, Dr John Bowe, at Richmond, Yorkshire. He was educated at King's School, Canterbury, Pembroke College, Cambridge, St Thomas's Hospital, and Vienna. He was then in succession House Surgeon and Resident Surgical Officer at the Leeds General Infirmary. In 1897 Bradford offered to him a better prospect; he set up there as a surgeon, and in 1901 was appointed Surgeon to the Bradford Royal Infirmary, a post he held for twenty years, until in 1921 he became Consulting Surgeon. He was the persistent advocate for a new building for the Infirmary, and was chairman of a committee through which a considerable sum of money was collected, and the 'Field House Estate' of twenty-three acres at Daisy Hall on the outskirts of Bradford purchased. Unfortunately the War intervened, and it was a great disappointment to Hall that his scheme did not materialize in his lifetime. But by letter dated Dec 6th, 1928, Mr J J Barron, Secretary Superintendent, stated that the original plans had been revived in 1925, an appeal for £500,000 launched, of which four-fifths had been received; building operations had been in progress for some months, and it was anticipated that a first unit of seventy beds would be completed about the middle of 1929. The scheme for which Hall had worked so strenuously in its initial stages was thus being brought to a successful completion. At the outbreak of the War (1914-1918) Hall was a Captain RAMC (T); he was appointed administrator of Field House Auxiliary Hospital, Bradford; later Surgical Specialist with the Mediterranean Forces at the Dardanelles.

In the Bradford Division of the British Medical Association he became President, and at the annual meeting at Bradford in 1924 he was President of the Association during a successful meeting. This led to an invitation to address the Ontario Medical Association at Toronto; after which, as the Representative of the British Medical Association, he crossed to the annual meeting of the American Medical Association, where he delivered an address. Upon this he was elected a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. As an active freemason he was installed Worshipful Master of the Pentalpha Lodge at Bradford in 1904, and was PPGD (West Yorks).

His death occurred suddenly from angina pectoris in the midst of active practice on Jan 12th, 1926, at Elder Place, Bradford, and he was buried at Lawnswood Cemetery. He left an estate valued at £29,000. He married in 1898 Lisbeth, daughter of Thomas Mackenzie, JP, of Achnalaird, who with one daughter survived him.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Lancet, 1926, I, 149, 206, with portrait. Brit. Med. Jour., 1926, I, 169, 722, with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England