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Biographical entry Brown, Leonard Graham (1888 - 1950)

MC 1917; MRCS 11 February 1915; FRCS 13 December 1923; BA Oxford 1912; MA BM BCh 1919; DM 1920; LRCP 1915.

6 September 1888
Brisbane, Australia
23 May 1950
ENT surgeon


Born at Brisbane, Australia on 6 September 1888, the third child and Second son of John Graham Brown, general manager of the Queensland Government Railways, and Amelia Morris, his wife. The family had come go Australia from Ulster. He was educated at Brisbane Grammar School, where he distinguished himself both at work and games. He did well in swimming, running, shooting, and rowing, but excelled as a gymnast and at rugby football. He was junior gymnastic champion of Queensland 1905, and played football for the State against A F Harding's Anglo Welsh XV in 1908. Graham Brown won the Queensland Rhodes scholarship to Oxford in 1909, and entered at Balliol, for which college he rowed in the Torpids and Summer Eights. He played football for Oxford 1910-12 and was captain in the last year. In 1911 he was in the English international XV and played eighteen times for England in the following dozen years, being captain in 1922.

He took honours in the final school of natural science in 1912, entered the London Hospital, from which he qualified in the early spring of 1915, and was immediately commissioned in the RAMC. He saw active service in France, was mentioned in despatches, won the Military Cross, and was promoted lieutenant-colonel in 1918. After demobilization he took the Oxford BM in 1919 and the DM in 1920, and set up in London as an aural consultant. After serving as aural registrar at Charing Cross Hospital he was elected aural surgeon there and was also aural surgeon to the North Middlesex Hospital. He excelled at mastoid surgery and the enucleation of tonsils in children by the reverse guillotine. He had a large and successful private practice at 32 Devonshire Place and later at 82 Portland Place. Brown made a few valuable contributions to the literature of his specialty, served as an examiner for the DLO under the Conjoint Board, and was president of the section of otology in the Royal Society of Medicine 1944. During the war of 1939-45 he served as medical superintendent to Charing Cross Hospital.

Graham Brown married in 1915 Margaret Jane Menzies of Edinburgh. There were two daughters of the marriage. He died on 23 May 1950 in Charing Cross Hospital, aged 61, and was cremated at Golders Green. He was an excellent surgeon and administrator, of equable, imperturbable temper and courteous manner. He was widely known as "Bruno", and very popular. He kept up his interest in games throughout his life, in later years being particularly fond of golf and ski-ing. He was president of the Rugby Football Union in 1948-49.

Affections of the ear, etc. in Sir Robert Hutchison's Index of treatment. 13th ed. 1948.
Twenty-five years' practice in mastoid surgery (president's address, section of otology). Proc Roy Soc Med. 1944, 38, 413.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times, 24 May 1950, p 8f; Lancet, 1950, 1, 1056, with portrait and appreciation by E D D D; Brit med J. 1950, 1, 1376; information from his sister, Mrs A Graham Meyer].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England