Browse Fellows


www Lives

Biographical entry Walters, Charles Ferrier (1874 - 1944)

MRCS 25 July 1900; FRCS 8 December 1904; LRCP 1900.

26 December 1874
24 December 1944
General surgeon


Born at Bristol on 26 December 1874, the fourth child and eldest son of Thomas Walters, chartered accountant, and his wife Anna Ferrier. He was educated at Burton College, of which his father's brother was headmaster, and was then apprenticed to a dentist in Park Street, Bristol. In 1895 he entered the Bristol Medical School, where he became demonstrator of physiology, and received his clinical training at Bristol Royal Infirmary and the London Hospital. He served as senior house surgeon and resident obstetric officer at the Royal Infirmary, and also held resident appointments at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Sick Children and Women, and served there as assistant anaesthetist. He was elected assistant surgeon to the Royal Infirmary in 1904, and promoted surgeon 1915, senior surgeon 1925, and consulting surgeon on retirement 1934. Besides his hospital and private practice, Walters founded, and for many years successfully conducted, a nursing-home for semi-private patients at his house, St Brenda's, Clifton Park. Previously he had practised at 5 Mortimer Road, Clifton.

During the first world war Walters served in France from 1916 to 1918, with the rank of major, RAMC (T) gazetted 23 May 1916. He organized an advanced casualty clearing station at Warloy Baillon, behind Albert, as an emergency surgical station for abdominal injuries; it was visited by the King; and with A R Jordan he published an impressive record of 500 operations, in The Lancet, 1917. During the second world war Walters was group medical officer for the Bristol area under the Ministry of Health's emergency medical service. Walters was president of the Bristol Medico-Chirurgical Society, 1929-30, and of the Bath and Bristol branch of the BMA, 1932-33. Walters married in 1905 Gertrude, daughter of the Rev J K Popham, who survived him with three daughters and a son, C M F Walters, BM, who served in the RAMC in the second world war. He died on 24 December 1944, the eve of his seventieth birthday.

Walters was endowed with irrepressible energy, mental and physical. He was deeply interested in philosophy and metaphysics, but was also a fine gymnast, addicted to outdoor life and fond of manual labour. He was known to his intimates as Piggy. He was noted for his monster cars, and was a keen sailor, but his greatest pleasure was taken in the cottage which he built for himself of local clay, digging out the site and making the garden with his own hands, in a combe on Walton Down, Somerset, near Clevedon, on the Bristol Channel. As a professional man Walters was remarkable for punctuality and rapidity. He took a share in popularizing plastic operations on the bones at the time when E W Hey Groves was bringing that field of surgery forward.

Autoplastic medullary bone-pegging as a method of operation in treatment of fractures. Bristol med chir J 1914, 32, 139.
Five hundred emergency operations for abdominal wounds, with A R Jordan. Lancet, 1917, 1, 207.
The duty of medicine to the race. Bristol med-chir J 1930, 47, 1.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Lancet, 1945, 1, 67, with eulogy by A W Adams, FRCS, and p 101, eulogy by Professor Rendle Short, FRCS; Brit med J 1945, 1, 133, and correction at p 239; Bristol me].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England