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Biographical entry McFarland, Bryan Leslie (1900 - 1963)

FRCS ad eundem 28 July 1949; FRCS Ed 18 May 1928; MB ChB Liverpool 1922; MD 1924; MCh Orth 1926.

18 July 1900
23 January 1963
Orthopaedic surgeon


Born on 18 July 1900, the son of John William and Eileen MacFarland from Northern Ireland, he spent nearly the whole of his life in Liverpool and was educated at Wallasey Grammar School and Liverpool University where he qualified in 1922. From 1922 to 1925 he held a series of resident appointments and, having received special commendation for his MD thesis in 1924, he was appointed assistant surgeon to the Royal Liverpool Children's Hospital in 1925, at which he became senior surgeon in 1948. His next additional appointments were to the Alder Hey Hospital and in 1933 as assistant surgeon to the Royal Southern Hospital, Robert Jones' old hospital, where he became senior in 1935. Between 1928 and 1933 he had been orthopaedic surgeon at the David Lewis Northern Hospital. He was consulting orthopaedic surgeon to Preston Royal Infirmary, the Lancashire County Council and Liverpool City Council, covering West Lancashire, Caernarvon, Anglesey and the Isle of Man for twenty years. He had been appointed clinical lecturer in orthopaedic surgery in 1925 and in 1948 became director of orthopaedic surgical studies, culminating in appointment as Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery in 1951 in succession to T P McMurray.

As a young man he had been a pupil of Robert Jones and became his assistant for seven years. Through the teaching of Robert Jones and McMurray Liverpool had become a centre of attraction for postgraduates from all over the Commonwealth, and McFarland added further lustre, displaying great personal interest in every student, in particular those from overseas, and making frequent visits abroad to maintain contact with them. He himself had been one of the first four to obtain the degree of MCh Orth in 1926 and the broadening of the curriculum for this degree was his particular interest.

He formed the Liverpool Orthopaedic Centre in 1944, was President of the Orthopaedic Association in 1953, of the Liverpool Medical Institution in 1956, of the University Club in 1959, and of the Merseyside Branch of the British Medical Association. He did much to further the interests of the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery for which he had been a founder member of the board of the British Section, thereby furthering Anglo-American collaboration. He was elected President of the International Orthopaedic Society, and at the time of his death was busy preparing for the triennial meeting to be held in Vienna.

A warm hearted, kindly man of great energy and enthusiasm, he was a superb host and incomparable raconteur, being much in demand as a speaker. His principal recreations were fishing, shooting and gardening. He married in 1928 Ethel Ashtonby by whom he had three sons, one of whom was accidentally killed in 1956. He died on 23 January 1963 at his home in Liverpool.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times 25 January p 13 A-B; Brit med J 1963, 1, 335 with portrait and appreciation by E N Wardle; Lancet 1963, 1, 279 with portrait and appreciations by HP and RR; J Bone R Surg 1963, 45 B, 196-198 with portrait and appreciation by Sir Reginald Watson-Jones].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England