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Biographical entry Westmacott, Frederic Hibbert (1867 - 1935)

CBE 1919; MRCS 13 February 1890; FRCS 14 June 1894; BSc Manchester 1904; LRCP 1890; TD; DL Lancs.

19 June 1867
20 December 1935
ENT surgeon


Born at Barton-upon-Irwell, 19 June 1867, the son of George Hibbert Westmacott, wholesale chemist, and Rosena Berry, his wife. He was educated at the Grammar School, at the University, and at the Royal Infirmary, Manchester. As soon as he had qualified he went to Burma in the capacity of surgeon to the Bibby Line SS Shropshire. He took part in the Burma expedition, and received the medal for his services during the campaign. He then determined to practise as an aural and laryngo-logical surgeon and, to fit himself for the work, attended clinics at Vienna. He returned to Manchester and, being unable to get an appointment at the Hospital for Diseases of the Ear, took a post as anaesthetist at the Children's Hospital, to which he became attached at a later period as aurist. Of independent means, he took over a private venture founded in 1888 by Dr McKeown for the treatment of diseases of the eye and ear, and put so much energy into its administration that it became the St John's Hospital for the Ear and was soon placed on the list of hospitals which received contributions from the medical charities' fund of the town. On 1 April 1913 he was elected assistant surgeon to the throat and ear department of the Manchester Royal Infirmary. He held this office until 4 March 1924, when he succeeded Sir William Milligan as surgeon, and on 19 June 1927 he was appointed consulting aurist and laryngologist to the Infirmary. In December 1920 he was elected clinical lecturer in laryngology to the Victoria University, and in September 1922 lecturer on diseases of the throat and nose. He resigned these posts in September 1927, but continued to practise privately. He married on 11 June 1904 Margaret Carlota, daughter of Alexander Howden, of Holland Park, London, W. She survived him but without children; she and her husband were Lady and Knight of Grace of the Order of St John of Jerusalem.

Westmacott's interests were chiefly military. Whilst yet a student he enlisted as a private in the 2nd Volunteer Battalion of the Manchester Regiment, received a commission as lieutenant in 1893, and for several years commanded the Owens College Company of the Battalion. He acted as instructor in musketry and machine gun, and lectured upon military strategy. He left the combatant ranks in 1908 to join the RAMC (T) with the rank of major, and took duty as registrar and secretary of the newly formed local General Military Hospital formed under the Territorial scheme. On the outbreak of war in 1914 he was registrar of the 2nd Western General Hospital with headquarters in Manchester, Colonel J W Smith being in command. On 15 July 1915 he was gazetted lieutenant-colonel, and was appointed officer in command of the Hospital. In this position his knowledge of French and German were most useful because many of the patients were Belgians. The hospital was the largest in the kingdom, for it had 18,000 beds in 170 subsidiary hospitals scattered over the county from Clithero in the north to Crewe in the south, from Glossop in the east to Chester in the west. He received the brevet rank of colonel, AMS, on 3 June 1917 when he was sent to mobilize the 57th General Hospital at Blackpool. He subsequently accompanied the hospital to France as officer in command, and in 1918 was appointed ADMS for the Marseilles area. He returned to England in 1920, was promoted colonel, AMS, and was attached to the 42nd East Lancashire Territorial Division and assisted the American Army Medical Services. For his many services he was repeatedly mentioned in despatches, was decorated CBE, was made a Deputy Lieutenant for his county, and in 1927 was appointed honorary surgeon to the King.

In craft masonry he was assistant provincial grand master of the eastern division of Lancashire, and a past grand deacon of England and past assistant grand sojourner. It was said of him that he not only excelled in organization, but was a past master in the art of making and keeping friends. He visited Switzerland and France frequently, and in 1905 founded the Winter Alpine Club at Chamonix, becoming its president. He also had a villa at Monaco, where he spent many holidays. He died on 20 December 1935 at Dilaram, 21 Ladybarn Road, Fallowfield, Manchester. His bequests included £1,000 to the Manchester Royal Infirmary and the Victoria University, jointly, for establishing a readership or lectureship in otolaryngology or to be added to any fund for establishing such a chair or professorship, £500 to the Manchester Royal Infirmary for the throat, nose, and ear department, £100 to St John's Hospital of Manchester and Salford for the Ear, and £100 to the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital for the nose, throat, and ear department.

Chronic hyperplasia of superior maxilla. Int Congr Med 17, London 1913, Trans, sect 15, pt 2, rhinol and laryngol, p. 243.
Diseases of accessory sinuses of the nose. Latham and English, System of Treatment, 1912, 3, 716-731.
Oculo-motor paralysis of otitic origin. Trans Clin Congr Surg N Amer 1914; also Lancet, 1914, 2, 1143.
Occupational diseases of ear, nose, and throat. Brit med J 1925, 2, 886.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times, 23 December 1935, p 14b; Lancet, 1936, 1, 52, with portrait; Brit med J 1936, 1, 40, with portrait, a good likeness; information given by Mrs Westmacott, his brother-in-law, C T Brock, and by W R Tindale, superintendent of the Manchester Royal Infirmary].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England