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Biographical entry Kennedy, John (1880 - 1955)

MRCS and FRCS 12 June 1913; MB ChB Melbourne 1907; MD 1910; FRACS 1929.

Bridgewater, Victoria, Australia
26 September 1955
Melbourne, Australia
General surgeon


Born at Bridgewater near Bendigo, Victoria in 1880. His forebears had migrated to Australia from Foss, near Pitlochry, Scotland in 1840. The family moved later to Narracan, Gippsland, where his father was a timber contractor and where he attended school, but was largely self taught. He matriculated from Wesley College, Melbourne with an exhibition in Greek, graduated from Melbourne University, and was resident medical officer at Melbourne Hospital 1908-10. He went to England for postgraduate work at Queen Charlotte's, the Middlesex, St Mark's, and the Basschurch Orthopaedic Hospitals. He worked under Robert Jones and Lockhart-Mummery, the latter offering him a partnership if he would remain in England. Returning to Australia in 1914 he became pathologist to St Vincent's Hospital, Melbourne, and then acting surgeon to the Alfred Hospital 1914-20, honorary surgeon 1920-40, and consulting surgeon 1940-55.

He practised as a general surgeon at 16 Collins Street, but was especially interested in insurance work. He lived at 4 Gordon Grove, South Yarra. He founded the Accident Clinic for the Chamber of Manufacturers in 1916. During the 1914-18 war he served with the Australian Imperial Force as a Major in the Australian Army Medical Corps at the 14th and later at the 5th Australian General Hospitals.

He married first Jean Wakley, who died about 1920 and by whom he had two daughters; secondly, Margaret Holden in 1925. He died at Melbourne on 26 September 1955 aged 75, survived by his widow, two sons and four daughters. His eldest son is David Kennedy FRCS.


Some medical aspects of the Workers' Compensation Act. Med J Austral 1926, 1, 661.
Diathermy treatment in industrial injuries. Med J Austral 1937, 2, 877.
Surgery in the aged and debilitated. Med J Austral 1938, 1, 531.
Injury in relation to accident with special reference to conflict between medical and legal opinion in patients with hernia. Proc Med-Leg Soc Vict 1939, 3, 176.
Workers' compensation, with G H Lush. Proc Med-Leg Soc Vict 1953, 5, 185.

The Royal College of Surgeons of England