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Biographical entry Martyn, Sir Henry Linnington (1888 - 1947)

KCVO 1931; MVO 1923; CVO 1927; MRCS 25 July 1910; FRCS 9 October 1913; MB BS London 1911; LRCP 1910.

30 September 1888
7 January 1947
Dittisham, Devon
General surgeon


Born in London on 30 September 1888, youngest child and second son of Henry Matthews Martyn, paper manufacturer, of Broadclyst and Countess Weir, Devon, and his wife Helena Sarah Quirk of Peel, Isle of Man. His elder brother died in France in 1919, while serving as a chaplain to the Forces. He was educated at King's College Hospital, entering in 1908 with a University scholarship and winning a senior scholarship in 1910. He took honours in medicine, surgery, and forensic medicine at the London MB, BS examination, and was awarded a University gold medal. He served as house surgeon, and house surgeon to the aural department, at King's, and in 1912 was appointed resident medical officer at King Edward VII Hospital, Windsor. On the outbreak of war in August 1914 he was commissioned in the RAMC, serving in France as second surgeon and registrar to No 12 General Hospital. He was surgeon to the Princess Christian Military Hospital 1916-17, and surgical specialist at No 10 General Hospital in France 1917-19. He was invalided out of the army in January 1919, with the rank of captain, as the result of sickness contracted while on active service.

Returning to practice at 8 Queen's Gardens, Windsor, he became in due course consulting aural surgeon to the King Edward VII Hospital, and to the hospitals at Maidenhead, Staines, Chalfont, Windlesham, and Iver. He was also appointed surgeon apothecary to the Royal Household at Windsor Castle, and attended King George V when he was seriously ill with empyema in 1929, and again when the King had bronchitis in 1931. He had been admitted to the Royal Victorian Order in 1923 and was created a Knight Commander of the Order in 1931. He was succeeded in his Household appointment by E C Malden, MRCS, on retiring in 1938. Martyn married twice: (1) in 1913 Nora Mary, only daughter of Paul and Mary Addington of Wimbledon; there was one daughter of the marriage, which was dissolved in 1939; (2) in 1939 Freda Clara Kelly, MRCS, elder daughter of W B Kelly of Hatch End, Middlesex, who survived him only two months, and died at Torquay on 14 March 1947. He died very suddenly on 7 January 1947 at Tudor Cottage, The Lane, Dittisham, near Dartmouth, South Devon, where he had lived since his retirement. Martyn was an occasional contributor to the professional journals. His recreations were yachting and painting.


Notes on the treatment of septic wounds in a base hospital. J Roy Army med Cps, 1915, 24, 377.
On the operative treatment of septic meningitis. Lancet, 1923, 1, 485.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times 9 January 1947, p 7e; Brit med J 1947, 1, 119; Lancet, 1947, 1, 110; information from Lady Martyn].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England