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Biographical entry Swann, Jack Lindsay (1921 - 2013)

MB BS Melbourne 1945; FRCS 1951; FRACS 1961.

17 November 1921
Melbourne, Australia
22 August 2013
Melbourne, Australia
General surgeon


Jack Lindsay Swann was a general surgeon in Melbourne, Australia. He was born in Caulfield, Melbourne, on 17 November 1921, the only child of Roy Barker and Irene May Swann née Matchett. His early education was at Caulfield Grammar School and his final four years of school were at Scotch College in Melbourne. He was a good sportsman and was a particularly successful high jumper. He was captain of athletics for Gardiner house and a prefect in his final year, 1939.

Jack studied medicine at Melbourne University from 1940 to 1945. (The medical course had been condensed from six years to five due to the war.) Upon graduation, he went to Ballarat, a regional city in Victoria, as a resident medical officer, then a registrar. He then worked at the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne, and the Devon Hospital, Latrobe, Tasmania.

During 1951 and 1952 Jack worked as a surgical registrar at Lambeth Hospital and then St Stephen's Hospital, London. He received his FRCS in December 1951. He was fortunate to meet Sir Gordon Gordon-Taylor and, like many other surgeons around the world, he thereafter received Christmas cards from this eminent British surgeon. Jack returned to Australia at short notice following the sudden death of his father.

On his return to Melbourne, he worked as an assistant surgeon briefly at Prince Henry's Hospital and then at the Royal Melbourne Hospital for five years. From 1959 to 1964 Jack worked as an assistant surgeon at both St Vincent's Hospital and the Footscray and District Hospital in Melbourne. He received his FRACS in 1961.

In 1964 he was appointed as a senior surgeon, in those days an honorary position, at the Footscray and District Hospital. He remained a senior general surgeon there until his retirement in 1986. By this time the hospital had been renamed Western General Hospital. In recognition of his long and outstanding service, the hospital appointed him as a consultant emeritus in surgery.

In December 1958 Jack married Janice Margaret Turner at the Scotch College Chapel. They had two children, a daughter, Carolyn, and a son, David. His main recreational activity was golf and he was a member of the Victoria Golf Club for many years. As a university student Jack had enjoyed holidays at Lorne, a coastal town along the Great Ocean Road of Victoria's west coast. The purchase of a beach house at Lorne ensured the continuation of this enjoyment with his family.

Jack died on 22 August 2013, aged 91. He was survived by Jan, Carolyn and David, and three grandchildren.

Carolyn Barraclough

The Royal College of Surgeons of England