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Biographical entry Bowen, William Henry (1879 - 1963)

MRCS 14 November 1901; FRCS 4 August 1903; MB BS London 1901; MS 1905; Hon MA Cantab 1928.

31 December 1963
ENT surgeon and General surgeon


He was educated at the High School, Birmingham and later at Guy's Hospital where he was a prizeman and held house appointments, obtaining a gold medal in the MS in 1905.

Originally intending to become a consultant in London, he was appointed to the East London Hospital for Children, Shadwell and the Royal Ear Hospital, but in 1910 he went to Cambridge and became aurist and assistant surgeon at Addenbrooke's Hospital. Later he became full surgeon at Addenbrooke's and a separate otolaryngologist was appointed. He was also surgeon to the Royston Hospital.

He was a Hunterian Professor in the College in 1943 lecturing on the problems of acute appendicitis, a subject he was particularly interested in and on which he had written a monograph in 1937. He was a member of the Court of Examiners from 1941 to 1944 and was also examiner in surgery and supervisor of surgical examination at Cambridge. In 1928 he was President of the Cambridge and Huntingdon branch of the BMA, and honorary secretary from 1929 to 1936.

Bowen was a hard working, sincere and forthright man who hated humbug and was unequivocal in his opinions. After retirement he devoted his energies to literary work, publishing a book on Charles Dickens and his family. His parish church gained his active support in his role as vicar's warden.

In 1914 he married K E Clark of Harrogate, by whom he had two sons and a daughter. He died in Cambridge on 31 December 1963, aged 85.

Appendicitis: a clinical study. 1937.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Lancet 1964, 1, 119, and p 178 by R H O B Robinson; Brit med J 1964, 1, 123 by CHB and AHW].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England