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Biographical entry Welchman, Walter (1881 - 1942)

MRCS 27 July 1905; FRCS 10 December 1908; BA Capetown; MB BS London 1905; LRCP 1905.

20 January 1881
Graaff Reinet, Cape Colony, South Africa
9 August 1942
Johannesburg, Transvaal, South Africa
General surgeon


Born at Graaff Reinet, Cape Colony on 20 January 1881, son of Walter Henry Lawrence Welchman, MRCS 1877, and Caroline, his wife, sister of Dr G P Baumann. He was educated at St Andrew's College, Grahamstown, at Capetown University, at University College, London, and at Guy's Hospital, where his father had studied medicine. He served at Guy's as house surgeon, out-patients' officer, and clinical assistant under C J Symonds, L A Dunn, and A D Fripp. He then returned to South Africa and practised at Johannesburg, where he became house surgeon, surgeon (1919), and eventually consulting surgeon to Johannesburg Hospital, and was also senior lecturer in clinical surgery at the Witwatersrand University. Welchman was particularly interested in cancer surgery.

He was an active member of the Medical Association of South Africa (British Medical Association), being treasurer of the Witwatersrand branch 1917-22 and president of the South Transvaal branch in 1930-31. In 1928 he represented the South African Association at the Cardiff meeting of the British Medical Association, and also attended the Cancer Conference in London. Welchman married on 14 November 1914 Eileen Hunter McLea, daughter of an 1886 Johannesburg pioneer, who survived him with two sons, Walter Henry, a mining engineer serving with the South African Forces Technical Services, and John Michael, a medical student serving as a pilot in the South African Air Force at the time of their father's death, and a daughter, Phyllis. Welchman died, after four years' painful illness, at Johannesburg on 9 August 1942, aged 61. He had lived at Glencrew, 13 Queen's Road, Parktown, Johannesburg, Transvaal.

Case of chorion-epithelioma of the testis, with metastases, followed by recovery; with special reference to a method of treating malignant disease. S Afr med J 1933, 7, 395.
Early treatment of cancer, surgical and non-surgical. Ibid, p 821.
He contributed to the Libro d'Oro dedicated to Professor Roffo.

Sources used to compile this entry: [S Afr med J 1942, 16, 300; Brit med J 1943, 1, 367; The Leech, Johannesburg, 1942, 13, 25; information given by Mrs Welchman].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England