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Biographical entry Murray, John (1863 - 1943)

MRCS 17 January 1887; FRCS 11 December 1890; BA Dublin 1884; MB BCh 1886; LM Rotunda Dublin 1886.

16 June 1863
Monkstown, County Dublin
16 August 1943
General surgeon


Born 16 June 1863 at Monkstown, Co Dublin, fourth child and third son of John Murray, solicitor, and Elizabeth Pott, his wife. He was educated at Repton and at Trinity College, Dublin, where he graduated in arts in 1884 and in medicine in 1886. Moving to London he took the Membership in 1887 and the Fellowship in 1890. After serving as house surgeon at the National Temperance Hospital, 1887-90, he was introduced by Sir Alfred Pearce Gould to the Middlesex Hospital, where he was appointed successively casualty surgical officer 1890, surgical registrar 1893, assistant surgeon 1896, surgeon to out-patients 1903, and surgeon in 1907; he retired as consulting surgeon in 1928. At the Hospital's Medical School he served as lecturer on practical and operative surgery, lecturer on surgery and surgical tutor, and filled the office of dean from 1902 to 1908. As surgical registrar, 1893-96, he had been expected, on a salary of £40 per annum, to attend all operations, supervise all note-taking, and perform the cutting and staining of all operation pathological material; £12 of the salary was only paid on the presentation of the annual surgical report of the hospital, which he compiled for 1894-95-96.

He was also consulting surgeon to Paddington Green Children's Hospital, to St Saviour's Hospital for Ladies, Osnaburgh Street, NW, to the Sevenoaks Hospital, and the Hospital for Hip Diseases at Sevenoaks. On the formation of the RAMC Territorial Force he was commissioned captain à la suite on 2 December 1908, and served at the 3rd London General Hospital at Wandsworth during the first world war, 1914-18. He was an excellent teacher and examiner, served on the Court of Examiners of the Royal College of Surgeons, 1915-25, and on the board of examiners in dental surgery (surgical section) in 1919 and again in 1927, and also examined for the Royal Naval Medical Service and for Birmingham University.

Murray married twice: (1) in 1898 Bertha Marion, youngest daughter of the Rt Hon Sir Alfred Wills, Justice of the High Court (for whom see DNB) and Bertha Taylor, Lady Wills, his second wife; Mrs Murray died in 1905 leaving a son, John Douglas Ridout Murray, FRCS; (2) in 1906 Gertrude Margaret, youngest daughter of W Mills-Baker, who survived him with a daughter. Murray practised at 110 Harley Street. He had a severe illness in 1934 and retired to Exmouth, where he died on 16 August 1943, aged 80. Murray was particularly interested in hospital work, in which he was most active and conscientious. He was a keen freemason, and a first-rate games-player, especially fond of billiards; also played cricket, tennis, and golf. Under a manner of bluff but dignified severity he concealed a humorous and companionable nature. He abominated tobacco. Murray was known among his pupils as "Hernia John".


Surgery of the thorax. International textbook of surgery, edited by J C Wane and A P Gould, 1899-1900.
Case of pancreatic calculus; stone removed by operation. Proc Roy Soc Med 1911-12, 5, surgery, p 131-136. This is thought to have been the second successful removal of a pancreatic stone.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times, 18 August 1943, p 8c; Lancet, 1943, 2, 306, with portrait; Brit med J 1943, 2, 284 and 345; information given by his son J Douglas R Murray FRCS].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England Library