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Biographical entry Ovens, Gerald Hugh Campbell (1908 - 1957)

OBE 1949; MRCS 28 July 1932; FRCS 11 June 1936; MB BS London 1935; LRCP 1932.

20 September 1957
Mona, Jamaica
General surgeon


Born in 1908, son of Brigadier-General G H Ovens CB, he was educated at St Mary's Hospital, where he later served as surgical registrar, and at the London Hospital; he was for a time assistant medical officer at the LCC St James's Hospital. During the war of 1939-45 he served in the RAMC, and after acting as deputy surgeon to King Edward Hospital, Ealing in 1945, he was adviser in surgery to the Palestine Command 1946-48 with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.

Ovens was appointed Professor of Surgery at the Farouk University, Alexandria in 1948, and moved to Jamaica in 1951 to be the first Professor of Surgery in the new University College of the West Indies. His first care was to complete the University College Hospital, whose planning he supervised, and this was opened according to his time-table in 1952. He was made Dean of the Medical Faculty in 1953 and gave much time and care to the planning of the new medical school. Ovens fell ill in 1951 and suffered a severe heart-attack in 1954. He died at Mona, Jamaica suddenly on 20 September 1957 aged 49.

He was a man of simple Christian faith, with a love of the English countryside and old churches. He was also interested in books and medical history.

Acute diverticulitis of the jejunum. Brit J Surg 1943, 30, 239.
Detection of free fluids in the abdomen. Practitioner 1945, 154, 256.
An Approach to clinical surgery. London, Churchill, 1953, 312 pages.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times 23 September 1957 p 14 d; Brit med J 1957, 2, 830 by R P Miles, and p 948 by GHJ and JSRG; Lancet 1957, 2, 698 with appreciation by R P Miles].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England