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Biographical entry Marsh, Frank Douglas (1888 - 1944)

MC 1917; MRCS 12 February 1914; FRCS 9 December 1920; BA Cambridge 1910; MA MB BCh 1920; LRCP 1914.

26 November 1888
17 September 1944


Born 26 November 1888, the elder son of Frank Marsh, FRCS, and Constance Hooper, his wife, who outlived her son.

He was educated at Shrewsbury and at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated with second-class honours in the Natural Sciences Tripos in 1910. He then entered St Bartholomew's, won the Shuter scholarship in 1911 and qualified in February 1914. On the outbreak of war he was commissioned a captain in the RAMC(T) on 25 August 1914, and served in France from 1915 to 1919, winning the Military Cross in 1917 and being promoted major and acting as a DADMS. After the war he served as house surgeon at St Bartholomew's and, deciding to specialize as an otologist, as clinical assistant in the department of throat and ear diseases at Bart's and at the Central London Throat, Nose, and Ear Hospital, and also spent six months in Vienna. He then settled in Birmingham, where his father was a prominent surgeon and citizen, becoming assistant surgeon at the Birmingham and Midland Ear and Throat Hospital and aural surgeon and laryngologist at the Children's Hospital, and from 1927 was surgeon to the ear and throat department at the Queen's Hospital. His combination of surgical and administrative ability was reflected in the rapid and successful development of his department at the Children's Hospital. He was also consulting ear and throat surgeon to the Guest Hospital, Dudley, and the Halesowen Cottage Hospital. Marsh was lecturer in diseases of the ear and throat at Birmingham University.

During the second world war he was appointed commandant of the Queen's Hospital and then served as otologist (1940-42) at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Netley, the principal regular military hospital, with the rank of major, RAMC(T). In 1942 he returned to civilian duties at Birmingham on account of arthritis, and was deputy regional adviser in otology under the Ministry of Health's emergency medical service. Marsh married in 1926 Edythe Milne Bankier, MB, ChB, who survived him with one son. Marsh died at 63 Sir Harry's Road, Edgbaston on 17 September 1944, aged 55, a year and five days after his father. He had been ill for eight weeks with acute infective jaundice. He had formerly practised at 10, and later 20, Church Road, Edgbaston. Marsh was an active member of professional societies in London and Birmingham, and a frequent contributor to the literature of his specialty. He was interest in the craftsmanship of furniture, and was an active bird-watcher, member of the "Men of the Birds". Tall and erect, grave and courteous, of reserved but kindly manner, he was a warm and loyal friend, and of great personal and professional integrity.

Some observations on functional aphonia. Lancet, 1932, 2, 289.
Abscess of the nasal septum. J Laryng. 1935, 50, 909.
Acute otitis media. Med Press, 1936, 192, 52.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J. 1944, 2, 454, and p 483, eulogy by H W F; Lancet, 1944, 2, 489, with portrait; information from Mrs F D Marsh].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England