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Biographical entry Hughes, Ernest Cranmer (1878 - 1950)

OBE 1919; MRCS 28 July 1094; FRCS 3 December 1906; LRCP 1904; BA Cambridge 1901; MA MCh 1907.

14 December 1878
28 July 1950
Tunbridge Wells
General surgeon


Born 14 December 1878, the second son and third child of Robert Harry Hughes, MB, who was in general practice at Plymouth, and his wife Laetitia Cavanagh Jervis. His elder brother Lawson Jervis Hughes, after training at Guy's Hospital, was killed in the South African war, when he was serving as a mounted medical orderly (Guy's Hospital Gazette, 1900, 14, 326).

He was educated at Marlborough College, and Clare College, Cambridge, where he was a scholar and took first class honours in the Natural Sciences Tripos, Part I, 1901. Like his father and elder brother he received his clinical training at Guy's Hospital, where he was house surgeon to Sir William Arbuthnot Lane, with F J Stewart as Lane's assistant. Hughes was elected assistant surgeon to Guy's in 1911, surgeon in 1932, and consulting surgeon in 1938. Owing to the outbreak of war in 1939 he did not retire, but worked as senior surgeon and surgical teacher at the Pembury Hospital, Tunbridge Wells, to which a part of Guy's Hospital was evacuated, and gave one teaching round each week at Guy's itself, continuing this work till 1949.

During the war of 1914-18 he was commissioned a captain, RAMC, on 31 October 1915, and served as consulting surgeon to Queen Alexandra's Military Hospital, Millbank, and to Queen Mary's Royal Naval Hospital, Southend.

"Joey" Hughes was a great teacher, perhaps the best exponent in his time of the personal method of bedside teaching. For nearly forty years he was a much-loved figure to successive generations of students. Though essentially earnest he had a cheerful. disposition and a quizzical, bantering manner, which endeared him to his patients and his pupils alike. He examined in surgery for Cambridge and Birmingham Universities, and was a member of the Court of Examiners of the College 1930-40.

Hughes married in 1909 Constance Ellen Ray, who survived him with a son, A C C Hughes, MRCS MRCP, and a daughter. He had practised at 17 Wimpole Street, but later lived at Grove Cottage, Hadlow Road, Tonbridge. He died in Pembury Hospital, Tunbridge Wells, on 28 July 1950, aged 71.

Alimentary toxaemia. Proc Roy Soc Med 1913, 6, 228.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times, 1 September 1950, p. 6e, by Sir Heneage Ogilvie, KB E, FRCS; Lancet, 1950, 2, 272; Brit med J 1950, 2, 419; Guy's Hosp Gaz 1938, 52, 475 and 478, with a good portrait; information from Mrs Hughes].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England