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Biographical entry Murray, George Alfred Everitt (1862 - 1941)

MRCS 28 April 1884; FRCS 8 December 1887; MB Durham 1887; LRCP 1884.

18 March 1862
Graaf Reinet, South Africa
5 July 1941
Johannesburg, South Africa
General surgeon


Born on 18 March 1862 at Roode Bloem, Graaf Reinet, South Africa, eldest child of Walter Everitt Murray, farmer, and Anne Southey, his wife, a near relation of Robert Southey, Poet Laureate. His youngest brother, Frank Everitt Murray, became FRCS in 1903 and died in 1907. Murray was educated at Graaff Reinet College, where he won class prizes, and came to England for his medical training. He was a Brackenbury surgical scholar at St Bartholomew's Hospital, where he served as house surgeon and house physician, 1884 to 1887, and took the MB of Durham University in 1887.

Returning to Johannesburg in 1888, he set up as a general practitioner and later founded the General Hospital, to which he was chief surgeon for thirty-seven years, retiring as consulting surgeon in 1934. The hospital's new operating theatre was named after him. He was also medical officer to Nazareth House, Johannesburg. In 1899 he married Kate Elizabeth Mary, younger daughter of Captain J J Dunne, The Hi-Regan; Miss Dunne was a nurse at St Bartholomew's and went out to Johannesburg in 1889; they had four sons.

During the Boer war Murray, who was a consulting surgeon to the British Forces, organized auxiliary hospitals in two large hotels at Johannesburg and acted as surgeon to them as well as to the General Hospital, while Mrs Murray was their matron. In 1900 Queen Victoria decorated him a Knight of Grace and Mrs Murray a Lady of Grace, of the Order of St John of Jerusalem. Mrs Murray died on 27 April 1936. Murray was several times president of the South African Medical Association, and for five years president of the Rand Pioneers.

He was a very handsome man of six-foot-four, and was respected and beloved throughout South Africa for his kindliness and dignity. Murray was a first-rate shot, an excellent judge of horses, and a keen racing man. He was for long a steward of the Turf Club and a member of the committee of the Witwatersrand Agricultural Society. He practised at 24 Plein Street, Johannesburg, where he died on 5 July 1941, aged 79, survived by his four sons, the eldest of whom, Dr Everitt George Dunne Murray, OBE, FRS Canada, was professor of bacteriology at McGill University, Montreal.


The treatment of acute Bright's disease. Transvaal med J 1906, 2, 3.
Suprapubic prostatectomy. Ibid 1906, 1, 181.
Chronic indigestion of organic origin. Ibid 1910, 6, 39.

Sources used to compile this entry: [St Bart's Hosp J 1941, 3, 10; S Afr med J 1914, 15, 298, eulogies by F H Napier, FRCS, and E B Fuller, FRCS Ed; information given by his eldest son, Professor E G D Murray, OBE].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England Library