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Biographical entry Gould, Eric Lush Pearce (1886 - 1940)

MRCS 11 May 1911; FRCS 12 December 1912; LRCP 1911; BA Oxford 1907; MA BM BCh 1911; MCh 1913.

23 January 1886
1 August 1940
General surgeon


Born on 23 January 1886 at 10 Queen Anne Street, Cavendish Square W1, the second son of Sir Alfred Pearce Gould, KCVO, surgeon to the Middlesex Hospital, and his second wife, a daughter of Mr Justice Lush and grand-daughter of Lord Justice Sir Robert Lush (1807-81), of whom there is an account in the Dictionary of National Biography. He was educated at Charterhouse School and won a science scholarship at Christ Church, Oxford, graduated in arts with a first class in school of natural science, gained the Radcliffe Travelling Fellowship in 1913 and visited Berlin, Canada, and the United States.

In 1914-17 he served as a temporary surgeon in the Royal Navy, was appointed a consulting surgeon, and in 1939 received a commission as temporary Surgeon Rear-Admiral, RN, when he served at the Roy Naval Hospital, Plymouth. At the Middlesex Hospital he filled the posts of house surgeon, house physician, surgical registrar, and casualty surgical officer. In 1920 he was elected assistant surgeon, became surgeon and lecturer on surgery, and during 1925-29 was dean of the Medical School. During his term of office as dean the Hospital was rebuilt, the Institute of Biochemistry was equipped, and the restaurant for students established.

At the Royal College of Surgeons he was on the Court of Examiners from 1936 and a member of the Council from 1932, holding both positions at the time of his death. His legal inheritance, derived from his mother's side, enabled him to make an admirable chairman of the Medical Defence Union from 1933, a position requiring tact and ability to deal with the numerous difficult cases which came under review. He married in 1916 Audrey Mitchell, daughter of Mr Justice Lawrence Jackson, KC, of the Federated Malay States; she outlived him, but there were no children. He died on 1 August 1940 at the Royal Naval Hospital, Plymouth from the sequelae of a perforated duodenal ulcer.

Eric Pearce Gould had many of the traits characteristic of his father, modified by a better education and wide travel, and softened perhaps by his lifelong martyrdom to asthma. A total abstainer from alcohol and deeply religious, he did much good social service and was more especially interested in prisoners and their after-care. Like his father he was a fluent and gifted speaker; the prepared discourse was delivered in flawless style, but he was also quick in debate and clever at repartee. The after dinner speech was always erudite, often brilliant, and always free from any story verging on the indelicate. These gifts made him a first-rate lecturer and attracted students to his classes and lectures at Hospital. His characteristic pose is well represented by W R Barrington in the sketch reproduced in the Middlesex Hospital Journal, 3, 38, 114. His literary output was marked by merit rather than abundance. As a surgeon he was especially interested in the cure of hernia by transplantation of the fascial aponeurosis, and in the operative treatment of congenital hypertrophic stenosis of the pylorus.


Surgical pathology, Students' synopsis series. London, 1922.
Three mesenteric tumours. Brit J Surg 1915, 3, 42.
Bone changes in von Recklinghausen's disease. Quart J Med 1918, 11, 221.
A case of B. Welchii cholecystitis, with L E H Whitby. Brit J Surg 1927, 14, 646. Recurrence of carcinoma of the stomach eighteen years after partial gastrectomy. Ibid 1927, 15, 325.
Primary thrombosis of the axillary vein; a study of eight cases, with D H Patey. Ibid 1928, 16, 208.
Primary subtotal thyroidectomy for Graves' disease in a child four years of age, with J D Robertson. Ibid 1938, 25, 700.
Editor of Sir A. Pearce Gould's Elements of surgical diagnosis, 4th to 7th editions, 1914-28.
Honorary editor of the Transactions of the Medical Society of London, 53-62, 1930-39.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times, 6 August 1940, p 7e; Lancet, 1940, 2, 181, with portrait; Brit med J 1940, 2, 208, with portrait, and p 239; H Campbell Thomson The story of the Middlesex Hospital Medical School, 1935, with portrait at p 136].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England