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Biographical entry Willis, Eugénie Leeson (1910 - 1948)

MRCS 25 July 1935; FRCS 8 June 1939; BA Cambridge 1932; BCh 1936; MA MB 1937; LRCP 1935.

23 July 1910
12 September 1948
Orthopaedic surgeon


Born 23 July 1910, the second daughter of Captain Frank R Willis, RN, of The Knapp, Portesham, Dorset. She was educated at Blackheath High School, at Girton College, Cambridge, where she took first class honours in the Natural Sciences Tripos, part 1, in 1932, and at the London School of Medicine for Women. She served as house surgeon at the Royal Free Hospital, and was then appointed resident surgical officer at the Royal Infirmary, Oldham, Lancashire. Her interest centred in orthopaedic surgery, and during the second world war she dealt with hundreds of battle casualties, while serving as chief assistant in the orthopaedic department of the Royal Infirmary, Manchester 1942-45, at a time when the staff of the Infirmary was much depleted.

After the war she extended her activities as visiting orthopaedic surgeon to the municipal hospitals of the Oldham county borough. She was also orthopaedic surgeon to Woods Hospital, Glossop, and orthopaedic registrar at the Duchess of York Hospital for Babies at Manchester. She lectured on anatomy and orthopaedic surgery at Manchester University. Miss Willis, who never married, died in hospital at Manchester, from chronic illness which had early declared itself, on 12 September 1948, aged 38. She had carried on her busy and active career with courage and determination as long as was physically possible. She was survived by her parents. Miss Willis had lived at 31 Wilmslow Road, Withington, with consulting rooms at 30 St Ann's Street, Manchester.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Lancet, 1948, 2, 515 by D Ll G, with portrait; Brit med J 1949, 1, 78, will; information from her father, Captain F R Willis, RN].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England