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Biographical entry Mundy, Herbert (1871 - 1932)

MRCS 13 May 1897; FRCS 14 December 1899; LRCP 1897; DPH RCPS 1902.

16 July 1871
Kennington, Oxfordshire
26 May 1932
General surgeon


Born at Kennington, Oxfordshire on 16 July 1871, the son of Job Mundy, a farmer, and his wife, Elizabeth Catherine Stone. He was their third child and third son. Educated at Faversham School, he entered St Bartholomew's Hospital in October 1892. Here he gained the senior anatomy or Foster prize for the best dissection of his year in 1894, and was appointed prosector at the Royal College of Surgeons. In 1898 he won the Brackenbury surgical scholarship, and was nominated by H T Butlin and C B Lockwood to act as their house surgeon. At the end of his year of office in October 1899 he was elected assistant demonstrator of anatomy in the Medical School, becoming demonstrator and holding the post until 1902, when he showed signs of commencing phthisis. He therefore took the additional qualification of DPH, went to South Africa, and entered into partnership in 1903 with Walter Eardley Burnand at Durban. Burnand had been a fellow student, a Cambridge man, who had settled in Natal after serving as a civil surgeon with the South African Field Force in 1901-02; he was a nephew of Sir Francis Burnand, editor of Punch. At Durban Mundy soon built up a large general practice, learning Tamil and Hindustani the better to understand his Indian patients. During the war of 1914-18 he served in East Africa.

He married on 26 April 1911 Olive Liddell Stevens, who had been trained as a nurse at the Addington Hospital. She survived him with six children, three of his sons becoming students at St Bartholomew's Hospital. Mrs Mundy died in London on 8 June 1938. He died on 26 May 1932 from an acute attack of malaria, contracted when his car broke down and he was obliged to spend a night on the veldt whilst returning from a visit to his farm in Zululand. He was buried in Stamford Hill cemetery Durban, the funeral being attended by more than a thousand persons.

Mundy secured for himself the esteem and respect of his neighbours to an unusual extent. In early life he showed such great promise that he might have been a candidate for election to the surgical staff at St Bartholomew's Hospital, had his health not broken down under the strain of anatomical teaching. He had a vein of humour and shone as a witness in medico-legal cases during his practice at Durban. It is told of him that on one occasion, when an examining counsel was pulled up by the presiding judge for exceeding the limits of courtesy, Mundy said with a bland smile "Thank you, My Lord, but I don't mind, if the court doesn't; I can be just as rude as Mr X is, if I wish to be". His relaxation was big game shooting.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Lancet, 1932, 1, 1392; S Afr med J 1932, 6, 384; St Bart's Hosp J 1932, 39, 181; information given by his son, Raymond Mundy; personal knowledge].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England Library