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Biographical entry Sprawson, Frederick Charles (1872 - 1938)

MRCS 10 May 1894; FRCS 11 March 1897; MB London 1897; LRCP 1894.

18 February 1872
11 November 1938
Hayling Island, Hampshire
General surgeon


Born 18 February 1872 at Wandsworth Common, London, the eldest of the four sons of John Sprawson, manager of the London and County Bank's Oxford Street branch, and Elizabeth Charles, his wife. All his brothers entered the medical profession, the second becoming Major-General Sir Cuthbert Allan Sprawson, CIE, director-general of the Indian Medical Service. F C Sprawson was educated at a dame's school in Brighton before he went to King's College School in the Strand. He entered the medical school of King's College Hospital in 1888, and was awarded the Clothworkers exhibition in the following year. He served Lord Lister as his last house surgeon in 1895, and was afterwards house surgeon to Professor William Rose. He then acted as assistant demonstrator of anatomy and physiology in the Medical School. He was responsible with his brother C A Sprawson, then a student, for the photographs from which the blocks were made to illustrate the first edition of Rose and Carless Manual of surgery, 1898. Becoming interested in diseases of the eye, he became clinical assistant at the Royal South London Ophthalmic Hospital and then settled in general practice at Blackpool.

He volunteered for service during the war, received a commission as temporary captain, RAMC on 30 January 1916, and was torpedoed in the Ivernia on his way to Salonica. He was nearly drowned, but it was characteristic of the man that he was chiefly concerned by the loss of his instruments, which for some time could not be replaced. At the end of the war he returned to Blackpool, where he was surgeon to the Victoria Hospital and consulting surgeon to the Lytham and Fleetwood Hospitals. He married Hilda Townsend on 1 December 1897. She survived him, but without children. He retired to Park House, Hayling Island, Hants, and died there on 11 November 1938.

The pigment cells of the retina, with J S Boden. Quart J Micr Sci 1892, 33, 365.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Lancet, 1938, 2, 1547; H Willoughby Lyle King's and some King's men, p 321; information given by Mrs Sprawson and by Sir Cuthbert Sprawson, CIE].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England