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Biographical entry Kellock, Thomas Herbert (1863 - 1922)

MRCS Feb 12th 1891; FRCS June 11th 1891; MA MB BCh Cantab 1891; MD 1894; MCh 1909; LRCP Lond 1891; Captain RAMC (T).

Totnes, Devon
19 December 1922
General surgeon


Born at Totnes, Devon, the son of T C Kellock, solicitor and ex-Mayor. He was educated at Totnes Grammar School and at Emmanuel College, Cambridge, where he was a Mathematical Exhibitioner, and seventh amongst the Senior Op-times in the Mathematical Tripos in 1883, graduating BA in 1884. He received his professional training at St Thomas's Hospital, winning the Cheselden Medal, and then served for three years as Medical Superintendent of the Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street, where he was successively Assistant Surgeon, Surgeon, and Consulting Surgeon. He thus became an expert in the surgical diseases of childhood, for his power of dealing with children was almost uncanny. After his retirement from Great Ormond Street he joined the staff of the Middlesex Hospital, and was there brought into contact with general surgery under Sir Alfred Pearce Gould (qv), whose mantle may be said to have descended upon him. He was successively Surgical Registrar, Surgical Tutor, Assistant Surgeon, and finally Surgeon and Lecturer on Surgery at the Middlesex Hospital. He was also, at the time of his death, Examiner in Surgery to the University of Cambridge, and Consulting Surgeon to the London and South-Western Railway Company, the Yarrow Convalescent Home, Broadstairs, the Chesham Cottage Hospital, and the Treloar Cripples' Home, Alton. During the European War (1914-1918) he worked at the Third London Hospital (T), and there can be no doubt that the strain of this period shortened his life.

A surgical colleague thus describes Kellock:-
"As a teacher he was lucid and precise, equally interested in major and minor maladies and in the minute points of treatment. When not orthodox in his views he was always able to back up his opinion by sound observation and the fruits of his own personal experience. The same qualities marked his surgery. No case was too trivial for him to operate upon himself, and such things as the application of a plaster splint or the treatment of a hammer-toe were never delegated to his house surgeon. He excelled in all minor surgery and appeared to derive equal satisfaction from a successful case of hallux valgus as from some satisfactory major abdominal operation.

"In major surgery his judgement was sound, his operative technique careful, and his results good. A great deal of his work was amongst children, and he was specially interested in the treatment of congenital dislocation of the hip, for the reduction of which he devised and used with success in older children a special instrument. He had a great belief in the efficacy of iodine in the treatment of tuberculosis, giving it internally in the form of large doses of potassium iodide in such conditions as tuberculous epididymitis and nephritis, and using it locally in the form of Morton's fluid in cases of psoas abscess or adenitis. His work at the 3rd London Hospital during the war showed the same attention to detail and thoroughness that characterized all his activities. Towards the latter part of this time he used with great success his own modification of the Carrel irrigation tube, usually in association with flavine. During the last few years he had charge of the Cancer Wards, and worked in association with Professor W S Lazarus-Barlow and Professor S Russ."

It was said of Kellock that he was "the most medically minded surgeon on the staff" of his hospital. This description he owed to his thorough general training and experience, just as he doubtless to a great extent derived his logical faculty from his mathematical studies. He was a brilliant teacher, his out-patient department being filled with students. Taking much interest in the welfare of nurses, he gave a sum of money at the Hospital for Sick Children to be awarded to the best nurses in each year. At the time of his death he was one of the Trustees of the Medical Society of London, and it was owing to him that the plaque which once stood over the house of the Society in Bolt Court was removed in 1917 to the Library in Chandos Street.

Kellock died after an attack of influenza on Dec 19th, 1922, and was buried in Highgate Cemetery. He married in 1915 and was survived by his widow and a son aged 5. His address was 2 Upper Wimpole Street, W.

Surgical Report of the Middlesex Hospital, 1897.
"A Modification of Phelps' Operation for the Relief of Talipes Equinovarus." - Lancet, 1895, i, 805.
"Naevi and their Treatment." - Clin Jour, 1901, xviii, 17.
"Spontaneous Reduction of Intussusception." - Middlesex Hosp Jour, 1904, viii, 67.
"Actinomycosis of Mouth and Face." - Trans Odont Soc, 1905, xxxvii, 29.
"Actinomycosis of Vermiform Appendix." - Trans Med Soc, 1907, xxx, 15.
"Excision of Joints: New Method of Operating at Shoulder." - Trans Clin Soc,
1907, xl, 94.
"Case of Pneumonotomy for Foreign Body in Lung." - Proc Roy Soc Med (Clin Sect), 1912-13, vi, 64.
"An Attempt to procure Immunity to Malignant Disease in Man" (with HELEN CHAMBERS and S Russ) - Lancet, 1922, i, 217.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Middlesex Hosp Jour, 1923, xxiii, 109, with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England