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Biographical entry Pendlebury, Herbert Stringfellow (1870 - 1953)

MRCS 12 November 1896; FRCS 9 December 1897; LRCP 1896; BA Cambridge 1893; MA 1897; MB BCh 1898.

10 December 1870
21 April 1953
General surgeon


Born at Wigan on 10 Dec 1870 eldest son of John Pendlebury a clothing manufacturer of Standish, Lancashire, he was educated at St John's College, Grimsargh near Preston, and at Pembroke College, Cambridge, where he was exhibitioner, prizeman and University scholar, and took first-class honours in both parts of the Natural Sciences Tripos 1892 and 1893, and won his "blue" for hockey in 1892, '93 and '94. He entered St George's Hospital Medical School with a scholarship in 1895, and served the Hospital as house surgeon and house physician 1898, surgical registrar and demonstrator of anatomy 1899, assistant surgeon 1900-06, and subsequently surgeon. He was also consulting surgeon to the Royal Waterloo Hospital for Women and Children and to the Kensington Dispensary and Children's Hospital. From early in his career he had a successful private practice at 44 Brook Street. He examined for Cambridge University and the Society of Apothecaries, and served on the Court of Examiners of the College 1919-26.

Pendlebury was one of the most active promoters of the amalgamation of medical societies to form the Royal Society of Medicine in 1907, became its first Honorary Secretary, and was subsequently Honorary Treasurer and an Honorary Fellow. He was similarly active in founding the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland and was its first Honorary Secretary. He served also on the Council of the Medical Society of London.

Pendlebury was twice married. His first wife was Lilian Dorothea daughter of Sir Thomas Lane Devitt, Bart, chairman of Lloyds and President of the Chamber of Shipping of the United Kingdom. She died in 1921 leaving an only son, John, a scholar of Winchester and Pembroke College, Cambridge, who became an outstanding archaeologist in Greece and the Near East, and had been a champion high jumper for Cambridge and England. As British Vice-Consul in Crete, where he was Curator of the Palace of Knossos, he was killed in the German invasion in 1942 (The Times 5 June 1942, p 7 e, by S C Roberts). H S Pendlebury founded a prize for Greek studies in his memory at Epsom College.

Pendlebury married secondly in 1935 Mabel, daughter of Richard Webb of Wanganui, New Zealand, and widow of P G Dickinson. They retired to Malvern, where he was appointed a Governor and Member of the Council of Malvern College, and he died there on 21 April 1953 aged 82, and she on 20 January 1959.

He was a small, neat, quick, punctual man, successful at all to which he put his hand. He was called "an ideal companion" and known to his many friends as "Pen".

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times 25 April 1953 p 8 f; Brit med J 1953, 1, 997; Lancet 1953, 1, 907 with appreciation by Sir Claude Frankau; information from Mrs Pendlebury].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England