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Biographical entry McCurrich, Hugh James (1890 - 1955)

MRCS 13 May 1915; FRCS 13 December 1923; MB BS London 1922; MS 1923; MRCOG 1935; LRCP 1915.

3 August 1890
16 July 1955
Obstetrician and gynaecologist


Born on 3 August 1890 one of the four children of John Martin McCurrich, chief engineer of the Bristol and Avonmouth Dock, he was educated at Clifton College, Bristol, St Bartholomew's Hospital and Vienna. Qualifying in 1915, he joined the Army as a combatant in the Middlesex Regiment but was later transferred to the RAMC, from which he was invalided out with trench foot. He returned to St Bartholomew's and was appointed house surgeon to D'Arcy Power and then to an obstetrical appointment, after which he held a succession of posts at the Royal Masonic Hospital, the West London Hospital, Putney General Hospital and the Royal Hospital, Sheffield as resident surgical officer. In 1925 he went to Brighton as medical superintendent of the Municipal Hospital, which subsequently became the Brighton General Hospital, and in 1931 he resigned to become consultant only, and was appointed assistant surgeon to the Royal Sussex County Hospital, where in 1939 he was also appointed as gynaecologist and in 1946 became full surgeon. At the same time he was surgeon to the Victoria Hospital at Lewes and for two years the Hove General Hospital.

He had always taken a great interest in the development of the health services and had in 1926 become Roger Prize Essayist of the University of London, writing on this subject.

From 1938 to 1941 he was President of the Brighton Division of the British Medical Association, and in 1944 he founded and was first President of the Regional Hospitals Consultants and Specialists Association, in which he was a tremendous driving force. He was President of the Brighton and Sussex Medico-Chirurgical Association in 1946-47, its centenary year.

He contributed to Pye's Surgical Handicraft, and described a new operation for restoration of the common bile duct. A man of great courage and endurance, he remained a conscientious doctor in spite of his activities in medical politics. Among his other interests were the Brighton Boys' Club and sailing; he was a member of four yacht clubs.

He was twice married, first to Dorothy Bettina Ellis by whom he had two sons and a daughter, and secondly to Nora Shaw. He died at Hove on 16 July 1955 after a long illness.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times 18 July 1955 p 11 D; Brit med J 1955, 2, 328 by JRHT with eulogy by CED; Lancet 1955, 2, 256 with portrait, by JRHT with eulogies by CED and GMW].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England