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Biographical entry Southam, Frederick Armitage (1850 - 1927)

MRCS April 18th 1876; FRCS June 14th 1877; LSA 1876; BA Oxon 1873; MA 1877; MB 1877.

9 March 1927
General surgeon


Born in Manchester, the second son of George Southam (qv), Surgeon to the Manchester Infirmary; was educated at Rugby, and matriculated from Trinity College, Oxford, on Oct 18th, 1869. He was of slight and rather short build, but won his Blue as a sprinter, and kept up an interest in athletics throughout life. After graduation at Oxford (1st Class in Honours School of Natural Science) he continued his medical studies at the Royal Infirmary, Manchester, and held appointments: Physician Assistant, 1876; House Physician, 1877; Resident Surgical Officer, 1878, 1879; then Medical and Surgical Registrar, and for a time Resident at the Barnes Convalescent Hospital. He was elected Assistant Surgeon to the Infirmary in 1880, and became Surgeon on the Staff until he reached the age of 60 in 1910. Other posts held by him were Surgeon to the Manchester Cancer Pavilion, the Christie Hospital, the Northern Hospital for Women and Children, the Victoria Memorial Jewish Hospital. He lectured for a number of years on operative surgery and later was Professor of Clinical Surgery. On retiring he was made Consulting Surgeon and Emeritus Lecturer. He was also at one time Examiner in Surgery at Oxford and at the Victoria University.

He was Secretary of the Section of Surgery at the Birmingham Meeting of the British Medical Association in 1890, Vice-President of the Section of Diseases of Women and Children at the London Meeting in 1895, Vice-President of the Section of Surgery at the Carlisle Meeting in 1896, and at the Manchester Meeting in 1902. He competed for the Jacksonian Prize in 1887 with an essay on "The Pathology, Diagnosis and Treatment of Tumours of the Bladder". The prize was awarded to E Hurry Fenwick, and Southam received a Certificate of Honourable Mention.

During the War (1914-1918) he had charge, as Lieutenant-Colonel RAMC, at the South-Western General Hospital, and as substitute for a surgical colleague away on active service was in charge of a Unit at the Infirmary.

Southam as a University graduate well maintained the reputation of the Manchester Medical School both as an operator and teacher, employing great care and skill in the one case, and a concise dogmatism in the other. He published "Remarks on a Series of 120 Operations for Vesical Calculi" (Brit Med Jour, 1904, i, 1190), and he operated early for appendicitis (Brit Med Jour, 1897, i, 963).

He was a keen golfer and a good walker to the last. He died on March 9th, 1927, and after cremation his ashes were deposited in the family vault at St John's, Pendlebury. He married in 1882 Amy Florence Hughes, daughter of the Head Master of Blundell's School. She died in 1923, and Southam then lived with his surgeon son, A H Southam, MCh Oxon, FRCS, at St. John's Street, Manchester, his other son, the Rev Eric Southam, being Vicar of St Mark's, Portsmouth. He left estate of the gross value of £44,900.


Regional Surgery, 12mo, London, i, 1882; ii, 1884; iii, 1886.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit Med Jour, 1927, i, 545, 1133, with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England