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Biographical entry Fenwick, Edwin Hurry (1856 - 1944)

CBE 1919; MRCS 19 May 1880; FRCS 3 August 1882.

14 September 1856
North Shields
5 May 1944


Born at North Shields, 14 September 1856, in the family of five sons and three daughters of Samuel Fenwick, MD (1821-1902), then in practice at Newcastle, afterwards physician to the London Hospital, and FRCP, and of Amy Sophia, his wife, daughter of Captain Bedford Pim, RN. All five sons entered the medical profession, among them Bedford Fenwick (1855-1939), MD, MRCP, gynaecologist, and William Soltau Fenwicke, MD, MRCP, internist, who died in February 1944, three months before Hurry Fenwick.

Hurry Fenwick was educated at the London Hospital, where he served as house surgeon, house physician, and surgical registrar, and took postgraduate courses at Leipzig and Berlin. In 1883 he was elected assistant surgeon to the London Hospital, becoming in due course surgeon and lecturer in clinical surgery, and ultimately consulting surgeon. He was also consulting surgeon to the West Herts Hospital at Hemel Hempstead. He examined in physiology for the Conjoint Board 1885-88. While practising as a general surgeon, Fenwick paid special attention to urological surgery, and was elected to the staff of St Peter's Hospital for Stone and Urinary Diseases, where he was succeeded as surgeon by J S Joly, who died a few months before him. In 1887 he won the Jacksonian Prize for his essay on "Tumours of the bladder", afterwards published with additions. Fenwick ultimately became professor of urology in the University of London, and an internationally recognized authority in this specialty.

He was one of the first in England to use and advocate the electrically-lit cystoscope, invented by Max Nitze (1848-1906) of Dresden at the end of the eighties, and ten years later was a pioneer in adapting the Roentgen rays for the use of the urinary surgeon. In 1905 he devised the first ureteric bougie opaque to X-rays. He was a dexterous surgeon, specially skilled in operating for urinary calculus and vesical tumour. In 1913 Fenwick served as president of the section of urology at the 17th and last International Medical Congress, and in his presidential address praised Nitze and Roentgen for enabling the surgeon no longer to "grope in the dark" when dealing with urinary and vesical disease. Fenwick himself had, in fact, played no small part in advancing the visual examination of the bladder.

During the war of 1914-18 he served as officer commanding the Bethnal Green Military Hospital and the military section of the London Hospital, with the temporary rank of lieutenant-colonel dated 14 April 1915, and was promoted brevet major on 3 June 1917; he had been commissioned captain d la suite on the formation of the RAMC(T) on 23 December 1908. He was mentioned in despatches and created a CBE for his war-time services. In 1919 Fenwick became the first president of the Société internationale d'Urologie, a chair he held till 1925. He was a vice-president of the International Association of Urologists, a member of the Société internationale de Chirurgie, and a corresponding member of American, Belgian, French, German, Italian, Russian, and Spanish urologic associations.

Fenwick married on 16 December 1886 Annie, daughter of Captain John Fenwick, an Elder Brother of Trinity House. Mrs Fenwick died on 12 October 1937, as the result of an accident. Hurry Fenwick died on 5 May 1944 in his house at 53 Bedford Gardens, London, W8, aged 88, survived by a son and a daughter. In earlier life he had practised at 14 Savile Row, London, W.

The venous system of the bladder and its surroundings. J Anat Physiol. 1885, 19, 320.
The electric illumination of the bladder and urethra, as a means of diagnosis of obscure vesico-urethral diseases. London, 1888; 2nd edition, 1889.
Atlas of electric cystoscopy, with Emil Burckhardt. London, 1893.
A handbook of clinical electric-light cystoscopy. London, 1904.
The cardinal symptoms of urinary disease, their diagnostic significance and treatment. London, 1893.
Urinary surgery. London, 1894.
Diseases of the urine, in Twentieth century practice. New York, 1895, 1, 525-659.
Obscure diseases of the urethra, with J W Thomson Walker. London, 1902. Tumours of the bladder, their pathology, diagnosis, and treatment. Jacksonian prize essay of 1887, rewritten with 200 additional cases. London, 1897.
Operative and inoperative tumours of the bladder. London, 1901.
The value of ureteric meatoscopy in obscure diseases of the kidney. London, 1903.
The value of the use of a shadowgraph ureteric bougie in the precise surgery of renal calculus. Brit med J. 1905, 1, 1325.
The value of radiography in the diagnosis and treatment of urinary stone; a study in and operative surgery. London, 1908.
Expectation of life after nephrectomy for urinary tuberculosis. Brit med J. 1944, 1, 621.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times, 9 May 1944, p 6g; Lancet, 1944, 1, 678; Brit med J. 1944, 1, 703; Prov med J, Leicester, 1892, 11, 225, with portrait; London Hosp Gaz. 1944, 47, 227, by Robert Milne, FRCS, with portrait; information given by his daughter, Mrs Fenwick-Hepworth].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England