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Biographical entry Sutcliffe, William Greenwood (1867 - 1942)

OBE 1919; MRCS 12 August 1892; FRCS 12 December 1895; LRCP 1892; TD.

14 August 1867
26 February 1942
General surgeon


Born in London on 14 August 1867, eldest child of William Greenwood Sutcliffe, MRCS 1865, of 2 Ashville Place, Battersea Park, and Mary Sophia Pottle, his wife. He was educated at the City of London School and at St Thomas's Hospital, where he won the Cheselden medal and was house surgeon. After serving as senior house surgeon at Hull Royal Infirmary for two years, he went to the second Matabele war in South Africa in 1896, as a surgeon under the British Red Cross Society. He settled at Margate in 1897 in partnership with W Knight Travers, FRCS (1843-1908). In 1898 Sutcliffe joined the staff of the Margate Cottage Hospital, and became its medical superintendent in 1924, a post he held till his death, through the reorganization of the hospital as the Margate and District General Hospital; he was president of the Cottage Hospital 1924-27 and of the General Hospital 1935-37. He was surgeon to the Royal Sea-bathing Hospital from 1901 and consulting surgeon from 1926; surgeon to Princess Mary's Hospital for Children 1892-1932; consulting surgeon to the Thanet Infirmary, the Cheyne Hospital for Children, the LCC Hospital, Margate, and the Victoria Home for Children, and medical officer to the Royal School for Deaf and Dumb Children. He was the first and for over forty years the only president of the Margate Ambulance Corps. In 1921 he was president of the Kent branch of the British Medical Association; and in November 1941 was presented with the freedom of the borough of Margate, in recognition of his services to the district.

During the first world war, Sutcliffe served at a casualty clearing station in France, with a commission as major, RAMC, dated 5 January 1915; he was twice mentioned in despatches, was promoted lieutenant-colonel, and was created OBE. In the second world war he took charge of a casualty hospital at Dover, 1940. Sutcliffe married on 12 September1908 Kathleen, daughter of John Ireland Sayers, who survived him with two daughters and two sons, the elder of whom, Captain William Greenwood Sutcliffe, RAMC, MRCS. 1937, had been resident medical officer at Margate General Hospital; the younger son, Anthony, was wounded while serving with the South African forces in Abyssinia in 1940-41. Sutcliffe died on 26 February 1942, aged 74. A requiem mass was celebrated at the Roman Catholic Church of Saints Anselm and Gregory, Margate, and he was buried at Margate cemetery. He was a man of tall and massive figure.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1942, 1, 425; Isle of Thanet Gazette, 28 February 1942, p 7, and 6 March 1942, p. 2, with portrait; information given by Mrs Sutcliffe].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England