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Biographical entry Paul, Frank Thomas (1851 - 1941)

MRCS 22 July 1873; FRCS 13 June 1878; LRCP 1873; LSA 1874; Hon ChM Liverpool 1907; Hon DSc 1912.

3 December 1851
Pentney, Norfolk
17 January 1941
General surgeon


Born on 3 December 1851 at Ashwood Lodge, Pentney, Norfolk, son of Thomas Paul. He was educated at Yarmouth Grammar School, and went into a business office in London before entering the medical school of Guy's Hospital in 1869, where he won exhibitions in 1870 and 1872, and became house surgeon in the hospital in 1874. He went to Liverpool in 1875 as resident medical officer and superintendent of the Royal Infirmary. From 1878 to 1883 he was on the staff of the Stanley Hospital, and in 1883 he succeeded Thomas Ransford as surgeon to the Royal Southern Hospital. In 1891 he was elected surgeon to the Royal Infirmary, and became consulting surgeon on his retirement in 1912. Paul took an active part in the work of the medical school, both before and after its incorporation as the medical faculty of Liverpool University. He was successively demonstrator of physiology (1878), pathologist, lecturer in dental anatomy and in clinical surgery, dean of the faculty for seven years, and professor of medical jurisprudence, being honoured with the title of emeritus on his retirement. He practised at 38 Rodney Street. He was a pioneer and propagandist of the study of pathological histology. He was commissioned major à la suite on the formation of the RAMC Territorial force on 7 July 1908, and served through the war of 1914-18 at the 2nd Western General Hospital at Fazackerly.

Paul was a consummate surgical craftsman and won the admiration of Moynihan himself. He was president of the Liverpool Medical Institution in 1906-07, and was elected an honorary member at the centenary meeting in 1937. In 1926 Frank Jeans gave the institution a cast of Paul's hand. Paul was a pioneer in the surgery of the large bowel. He introduced "Paul's tube", describing it in his paper on colotomy in 1891, and anticipated Mikulicz by ten years in his perfected method of colectomy (1895). In 1892 he improved Senn's method of gastro-enterostomy. By 1897 he had done partial thyroidectomy in six cases of exophthalmic goitre without a death. He published many papers, and the wide range of his surgical and pathological work can be judged from the volume of his collected papers presented to him, by his colleagues at the Liverpool Royal Infirmary, on his seventy-fifth birthday and the fiftieth anniversary of his association with the infirmary, in 1925.

Paul retired to Grayshott, near Hindhead, where he grew orchids and took colour-photographs and enjoyed camping and caravaning. In earlier years he had been a keen yachtsman and motorist. He was a man of fine presence, with a full beard. He was modest and self-effacing and entirely without affectation. He married in 1888 Geraldine, daughter of Eustace Greg, who survived him with three daughters. He died at Grayshott on 17 January 1941, aged 89.

A new method of performing inguinal colotomy, with cases. Brit med J 1891, 2, 118. Introducing "Paul's tubes" of glass and rubber.
Colectomy. Ibid 1895, 1, 1136. Describing his method of extra-abdominal resection of the colon, sometimes called the Mikulicz or Paul-Mikulicz operation.
Personal experiences in the surgery of the large bowel. Address in surgery, BMA meeting, Liverpool. Brit med J 1912, 2, 172-181.
Selected papers, surgical and pathological. London, 1925.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times, 23 January 1941, p 7f; Brit med J 1931, 1, 176, with portrait; Lancet, 1941, 1, 166, with portrait; centenary notices: Ann Roy Coll Surg Engl 1951, 9, 408 by W R Bett, MRCS; Brit med J 1951, 2, 1355; Brit J Surg 1951, 39, 195-198, with portrait and passages of autobiography].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England