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Biographical entry McCrea, Edward D'Arcy (1895 - 1940)

MRCS and FRCS 9 December 1926; FRCSI 1922; MB BCh BAO Dublin 1917; MD 1920; MCh 1922.

7 February 1895
County Dublin, Ireland
December 1940
Worsley, UK
Genito-urinary surgeon


Born on 7 February 1895 at Altona, Stillorgan, Co Dublin, eldest son of John Harris McCrea, merchant, and Jeannette Seale, his wife. He was educated at Wycliff College, Stonehouse, Gloucestershire, and at Trinity College, Dublin, where he graduated with a brilliant academic record in 1917, proceeding MD in 1920 and MCh in 1922. In that year he also gained the Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland. He had been commissioned as a temporary captain, RAMC, on 30 July 1918. McCrea was elected assistant surgeon at Sir Patrick Dun's Hospital, Dublin in 1919, but retired on moving to England in 1922. He settled at Manchester, becoming registrar of the department of urology at Salford Royal Hospital. He was elected assistant surgeon to the Hospital in June 1927, and surgeon in February 1935; throughout this period he worked with J B Macalpine. He took the Fellowship of the College in 1926, without being already a Member. He was also consulting surgeon to the Eccles and Patricroft Hospital, Manchester, and from 1 July 1935 consulting genito-urinary surgeon to the Infirmary at Leigh. At the time of his death he was senior honorary secretary of the section of urology in the Royal Society of Medicine.

McCrea carried out some excellent anatomical and physiological research, in association with J S B Stopford and B A McSwiney. He first studied the innervation of the stomach, then became interested in the musculature of the bladder, and worked at various problems in bladder physiology at the Manchester Medical School. He subsequently transferred his interest to the diseases of the male genital tract. His monograph on Diseases of the urethra and penis, published six months before his death, was very well received. It was intended as the first of a series on the surgery of his special subject. The specimens and notes for this work, including a rich collection on the testicle, were destroyed in the bombing of his house in which he lost his life.

McCrea was reserved and shy, with few non-professional interests, but he was a good talker and enjoyed the company of fellow-scientists, though preferring his home and his books. He was a first-class lawn-tennis player and had represented Ireland in the Davis Cup competition. McCrea married on 25 September 1925 Edith Florence Willock, who, like him, was a medical graduate of Dublin and a Fellow (1925) of the Irish College of Surgeons. Mrs McCrea was surgeon to the Manchester Babies Hospital. She had written on Anoxaemic atrophy of infants in the Quarterly Journal of Medicine, 1929, 22, 269, and was engaged on an exhaustive study of pyloric stenosis. McCrea, his wife, and their two children, a boy and a girl, were killed when a German bomb destroyed their house, The Cottage, Worsley, near Manchester, during an air-raid in December 1940.


Nerves of the stomach and their relation to surgery. Brit J Surg 1926, 13, 621. Musculature of bladder. Proc Roy Soc Med 1926, 19, Urol. Sect., p 35.
Early carcinoma testis. Brit J Urol 1934, 6, 46.
Pre-sacral sympathectomy and the urinary bladder. Brit J Urol 1934, 6, 119.
Epididymal cysts, their aetiology and treatment. Brit J Urol 1935, 7, 152.
Treatment of undescended testis. Lancet, 1935, 2, 753.
Dislocation of testis, spontaneous reduction. Brit J Urol 1938, 10, 251.
Tuberculosis of male genital tract. Irish J med Sci 1938, p. 614.
Urinary symptoms in disease of nervous system. Med Press, 1939, 201, 8.
Factors influencing treatment of incompletely descended testis. Urol Cutan Rev 1939, 43, 239.
Diseases of the urethra and penis. Bristol, 1940.

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