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Biographical entry McMullen, William Halliburton (1876 - 1958)

OBE 1918; MRCS 10 November 1898; FRCS 20 June 1901; MB London 1900; BS 1901.

19 July 1876
15 April 1958
Ophthalmic surgeon


Born in London on 19 July 1876 a son of William McMullen of Camberwell, he was educated at the City of London School, King's College, London and King's College Hospital. After qualification he served as house surgeon, curator and pathologist at the Royal Westminster Ophthalmic Hospital. His first consultant appointment was as assistant ophthalmic surgeon to the Miller General Hospital, and in 1912 he was appointed ophthalmic surgeon to the Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street, a post from which he retired in 1920.

During the war of 1914-18 he acted as ophthalmic specialist at the Central London Recruiting Depot and was awarded the OBE for his services. In 1919 he became ophthalmic surgeon to the Royal Northern Hospital, relinquishing this appointment in 1923. At the Royal Westminster Ophthalmic, now part of the Charing Cross Group and at one time part of Charing Cross Hospital itself, he was at first assistant surgeon and later full surgeon until his retirement in 1936, and in 1928 was responsible for planning the new hospital in High Holborn with one hundred in place of forty beds. He was at one time President of the Ophthalmological Section of the Royal Society of Medicine and Vice-President of the Ophthalmological Society of Great Britain.

A man of calm, unruffled exterior and distinguished appearance, he was a good teacher and very thorough in his approach to any clinical problem. His hobbies included water-colour sketching and golf.

In 1906 he married Kate Constance, daughter of G Randall Higgins, who died seven months after her husband, and by whom he had three sons. He died suddenly on 15 April 1958 at Richmond aged 81. A memorial service was held at St John's Wood Chapel on 7 May 1958.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times 17 April 1958 p 14 c; Lancet 1958, 1, 915 with euology by MLH; Brit med J 1958, 1, 1007 with appreciation by G G Penman].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England