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Biographical entry Peters, Edwin Arthur (1868 - 1945)

MRCS 8 November 1894; FRCS 11 June 1903; BA Cambridge 1891; MA MB BCh 1896; MD 1900; LRCP 1894.

16 April 1868
Merstham, Surrey
29 January 1945
ENT surgeon


Born 16 April 1868 at Merstham, Surrey, second child and second son of Edwin Peters and Damaris Kingsnorth, his wife. He was educated at Charterhouse and at Caius College, Cambridge, where he took first-class honours in Part 1 of the Natural Sciences Tripos, 1889, and second-class honours in Part 2, 1891. He then entered Guy's Hospital, won the gold medal for diagnosis, and served as house physician.

Peters specialized as an oto-laryngologist, and after postgraduate study at Heidelberg he became clinical assistant at the Throat Hospital, Golden Square. After serving as senior clinical assistant at the Royal Ear Hospital (the nose, throat, and ear department of University College Hospital) he was elected to its staff and ultimately became consulting surgeon. He was consulting aural surgeon to the Bolingbroke Hospital and to Paddington Green Children's Hospital. During the first world war he served as captain, RAMC, commissioned 21 December 1914, and was subsequently for many years otologist and laryngologist to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Netley. Peters carried on his large private practice to the end of his life, long after he had given up his hospital appointments. He was honorary secretary of the laryngological section at the Royal Society of Medicine, and president of the otological section in 1934.

Peters married twice: (1) on 7 March 1895 Alice Mary Serjeant, whose two daughters survived him, one an artist and the other, Dr Alice D K Peters, BM, BCh Oxford, an industrial dermatologist and medical officer to a Royal ordnance factory; (2) on 27 April 1933 Margaret R A Mains, who survived him with a son and daughter. He died on 29 January 1945, aged 76, and was buried at Netley Abbey. He had practised at 41 Wimpole Street and lived at Queensborough Terrace and at Ingleside, Netley Abbey, Hants.

In addition to valuable clinical studies in his own specialty, Peters carried through some useful anatomical and physiological researches. He early improved the current surgical technique in mastoid operation. He also devoted much care to the study of climatic effects on public health. He was a man of great loyalty, courtesy, and kindness. His favourite recreations were golf and partridge-shooting, at both of which he excelled, and he enjoyed carpentry, yachting, and country pursuits.

Handbook of diseases of the ear, by Richard Lake, 5th edition by E. A. Peters. London, 1927.
Nose and throat, in T N Kelynack Tuberculosis in infancy and childhood, London, 1908.
Treatment of hysterical deafness by pseudo-operation, with Sir Arthur Hurst. Lancet, 1917, 2, 517.
Infection of Eustachian tube, presidential address to otological section. Proc Roy Soc Med 1934, 28, 221.
Tonsils and naso-pharyngeal sepsis. Lancet, 1935, 2, 1354; and as a pamphlet, London, Baillière, 1935.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times, 10 February 1945, p 7e, appreciation by G E D; Lancet, 1945, 1, 195, with eulogy by G S H; Brit med J 1945, 1, 279; information from his daughter, Dr Alice Peters].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England