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Biographical entry Ormond, Arthur William (1871 - 1964)

CBE 1919; MRCS 4 August 1896; FRCS 8 December 1898; LRCP 1896.

8 December 1871
14 February 1964
Ophthalmic surgeon


Born in London on 8 December 1871 the son of M G Ormond, he was educated at Guy's Hospital, where he was appointed house-surgeon and then obstetric assistant in charge of externs. After travelling as a ship's surgeon to South Africa in 1898, he specialised in ophthalmology and was appointed ophthalmic registrar and clinical assistant at Guy's. He was given leave for three months in 1901 to tour the ophthalmological centres of Europe.

During the 1914-18 war Ormond supervised the ophthalmic work at St Mark's College, Chelsea, the 2nd London General Hospital where all blinded men were drafted. Ormond and his colleagues published two official reports, one presenting an analysis of the 15,584 ophthalmic cases treated at St Mark's, and the other listing 1000 blinded men who had been treated there and transferred to St Dunstan's. Ormond had the painful duty of telling hundreds of people that they would be blind for the rest of their lives, which he did with grace, kindness and good sense.

Little progress was made in treatment for detachment of the retina before Jules Gonin of Lausanne devised his operation and Alfred Vogt of Zurich reported a case in which he had obtained complete success by Gonin's method (Gonin: Annales d'Oculistique 1927, 164, 817; Vogt: Klinische Monatsblätter für Augenheilkunde 1929, 82, 619). Ormond visited Gonin and published the first English description of this new treatment in the British Medical Journal 1930, 1, 940.

Between the wars Ormond was joint ophthalmic surgeon to St Dunstan's with Sir Arnold Lawson. He was honorary secretary of the section of ophthalmology at the British Medical Association's annual meeting at Birmingham in 1911, and Vice-President at the Bath meeting in 1925. He was a member of the ophthalmic committee of the BMA from 1926 to 1937, and a representative of the Association on the National Ophthalmic Treatment Board from 1928 to 1930. When he retired from Guy's in 1931 he was appointed consulting ophthalmic surgeon emeritus.

Ormond practised at 9 Devonshire Place, W1 and lived at The Summit, Mount Ephraim, Tunbridge Wells. He died on 14 February 1964, aged 92. He married Mary C Eason who survived him.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1964, 1, 505 with portrait; The Times 26 February 1964 p 14 a by Lord Fraser of Lonsdale, Chairman of St Dunstan's].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England