Browse Fellows


www Lives

Biographical entry Edwards, Arthur Tudor (1890 - 1946)

MRCS 13 November 1915; FRCS 9 December 1915; MB BCh Cambridge 1913; MCh 1915; LRCP 1915; Hon MD Grenoble and Oslo.

7 March 1890
25 August 1946
St Enodoc, Cornwall
Thoracic surgeon


Born 7 March 1890, the elder son of William Edwards of Langlands, Glamorgan, Chairman of Edwards Limited, and his wife Mary Griffith Thomas. He was educated at Mill Hill School and St John's College, Cambridge. He took his clinical training at the Middlesex Hospital, when Sir John Bland-Sutton was senior surgeon, and served as dresser and house surgeon to Sir Gordon Gordon-Taylor; he was awarded a University scholarship in the Middlesex Hospital Medical School. After serving as surgical registrar at the hospital he was commissioned in the RAMC on the outbreak of the war in 1914. He worked in France, at No 6 casualty clearing station at Barlin under Sir Cuthbert Wallace, and at Wimereux under Meurice Sinclair; he attained the rank of major.

On returning to London practice he became assistant surgeon to Westminster Hospital, and to the Brompton Hospital. At Brompton he played a pioneer part in applying to civilian illnesses the surgical intervention into the thorax which Pierre Delbet, G E Gask and others had successfully demonstrated in the treatment of war injuries. He explored successively the surgery of pulmonary tuberculosis, bronchiectasis, tumours of the mediastinum, tumours of the lung both malignant and simple. In all this work he was ably supported by his physician-colleague: R A Young and his anaesthetist Ivan Magill. In ten years he established thoracic surgery as a necessary specialty and himself as its recognized leader.

In 1936 he gave up his general surgical work at the Westminster Hospital on appointment as first Director of the Department of Thoracic Surgery at the London Hospital. He was a consulting surgeon to King Edward VII's Sanatorium at Midhurst and to Queen Alexandra's Hospital, Millbank. As surgeon under the Ministry of Pensions to Queen Mary's Hospital at Roehampton he did valuable work in the repair of the aftermath of war-time gastric operations. He also supervised the London County Council's Thoracic Clinic at St Mary Abbott's Hospital, Kensington.

During the war of 1939-45 Tudor Edwards, who had already undergone two severe illnesses in 1938 and 1939, was a civilian consultant with the Royal Air Force, adviser for thoracic casualties to the Ministry of Health, and civilian adviser to the War Office. He organized the reception centres for thoracic casualties under the Emergency Medical Service. He was an excellent teacher and did much to establish a school of thoracic surgeons in Great Britain. During the years of war he provided intensive courses of instruction for service thoracic units, and was assiduous in visiting these units all over the country. He was elected to the Council of the College in 1943, but died before he had completed three years as a councillor.

Tudor Edwards was an operator of supreme skill and beautiful technique. He achieved an international reputation while still in his early forties. He was an Honorary Fellow of the American Society of Thoracic Surgeons, and president of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons at home. In the last years of his life he was elected first president of the new Association for the Study of Diseases of the Chest, and contributed a survey of one thousand operations for bronchial carcinoma to the first number of its journal Thorax.

Edwards married on 13 April 1920 Evelyn Imelda Chichester Hoskin, daughter of Theophilus Hoskin, MRCS, of London and Cornwall. He practised at 139 Harley Street, but died suddenly while taking his holiday at St Enodoc, Cornwall, on 25 August 1946, aged 56. He was buried at St Enodoc Church. At a memorial service in London Lord Horder delivered an obituary oration. Mrs Tudor Edwards survived him, but without children; she died on 13 May 1951, and left £5,000 to the College for the promotion of surgical science. Tudor Edwards was of medium height, handsome and youthful in appearance with thick dark hair.

The following bibliography was prepared by Dr W R Bett for the National Association for the Prevention of Tuberculosis, and is printed by their generous permission.
A case of carcinoma of transverse colon and intussusception. Lancet, 1919, 2, 1028.
Surgery, with Ivor Back. London, Churchill (Students' synopsis series), 1920; 2nd edition, 1921.
Thoracoscopy in surgery of chest. Brit J Surg. 1924, 12, 49.
Intrathoracic new growths; account of seven operable cases. Brit J Surg. 1927, 14, 607.
Present position of surgery in treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis. Brit J Tuberc. 1927, 21, 145.
Surgery of new growths of chest. Tubercle, 1927, 8, 267.
Surgical treatment of phthisis and bronchiectasis. Brit med J. 1927, 1, 9. Discussion on treatment of chronic non-tuberculous infection of lungs, with G E Martin and L S T Burrell. Proc Roy Soc Med. 1927, 20, 35.
After-effects of surgical procedures in cases of pulmonary tuberculosis; surgeon's point of view. Brit med J. 1928, 2, 602.
The diagnosis and treatment of empyema. Clin J. 1928, 57, 613.
Surgical technique of pulmonary abscess. Brit J Surg. 1929, 17, 102.
Present state of surgical treatment of pulmonary tuberculosis. J State Med. 1930, 38, 603.
Discussion of intrathoracic tumours. Proc Roy Soc Med. 1930, 23, 25.
Malignant disease of lung. Brit med J. 1931, 1, 129.
Empyema thoracis; method of maintaining negative pressure drainage. Lancet, 1931, 2, 1126.
Tuberculosis, pulmonary; surgical treatment. Med Annu. 1931, p 481, and revised contribution in subsequent annual issues.
Surgical treatment of intrathoracic new growths. Brit med J. 1932, 1, 827. Bronchiectasis; surgical treatment. Med Annu. 1933, p 85, and revised contribution in subsequent annual issues.
One-stage lobectomy for bronchiectasis; account of forty-eight cases, with C P Thomas. Brit J Surg. 1934, 22, 310.
Malignant disease of lung. J thorac Surg. 1934, 4, 107.
Bronchiectasis. Postgrad med J. 1935, 11, 44.
Place of surgery in chest disease. Practitioner, 1935, 134, 14.
Two cases of total pneumonectomy for bronchiectasis. Proc Roy Soc Med. 1936, 29, 221.
Extirpation of oesophagus for carcinoma, with E S Lee. J Laryng. 1936, 51, 281. Diagnosis of malignant disease of the lung and mediastinum, in M Donaldson and others, The early diagnosis of malignant disease. Oxford, 1936.
Heart and pericardium, surgery. Med Annu. 1937, p 198, and revised contribution in subsequent annual issues.
Device for nasal administration of oxygen. Lancet, 1938, 2, 680.
Treatment of injuries of chest. Brit med J. 1938, 2, 1096.
Tumours of lung. Brit J Surg. 1938, 26, 166.
Vascular endothelioma of lung, with A B Taylor. Brit J Surg. 1938, 25, 487. Cancer of lungs and pleurae. Practitioner, 1939, 143, 29.
Modem principles of treatment in bronchiectasis based upon 199 cases treated by Iobectomy or total pneumonectomy. (Harveian lecture.) Brit med J. 1939, 1, 809.
Traumatic haemothorax. Lancet, 1943, 1, 97.
War wounds and injuries of chest. Brit J Surg. 1943, 31, 74.
Early treatment of wounds and injuries to the chest, in British Medical Students Association War surgery, lectures by various authors, 1944.
Penicillin in chest surgery. Med Annu. 1946, p 254.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times, 27 August 1946, pp lb and 6e, 28 August, p 7e, 29 August, p 6b, funeral, and 15 May 1951, death of Mrs Tudor Edwards; Lancet, 1946, 2, 365, with portrait and appreciations by G M and Sir Gordon Gordon-Taylor, KBE, CB; Brit med J. 1946, 2, 346, with portrait and appreciations by Sir Gordon Gordon-Taylor and A F R, and at p 444 memorial oration by Lord Horder, FRCP, and 1952, 1, 115, Mrs Tudor Edwards' will; National Association for Prevention of Tuberculosis, Bulletin, 1946, 8, 146, appreciation by A F Foster-Carter, DM, no memoir; Thorax, 1946, 1, 143, by S R Gloyne, with portrait; Brit J Surg. 1946, 34, 206, appreciation by Sir G Gordon-Taylor, with portrait; information from Mrs Tudor Edwards; personal knowledge].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England