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Biographical entry Philps, Alan Seymour (1906 - 1956)

MRCS 9 May 1929; FRCS 10 December 1931; LRCP 1929.

28 February 1906
26 April 1956
Ophthalmic surgeon


Born on 28 February 1906 son of Francis John Philps, sometime editor of the Financial Times, he was educated at Aldenham and St Bartholomew's Hospital, where after qualifying he was house surgeon to George Gask and Thomas Dunhill, later becoming house surgeon and resident medical officer at the Royal Westminster Ophthalmic Hospital. In 1931 he was chief assistant in the eye department at St Bartholomew's Hospital. In 1932 he was appointed ophthalmic surgeon to the Victoria Hospital for Children, Chelsea, and to the Miller General Hospital, Greenwich. In 1938 he became an assistant surgeon at Moorfields and full surgeon in 1940.

During the war he was commissioned in the RAMC and served as ophthalmic specialist, being particularly involved during the invasion of Normandy in 1944. After the war he was appointed assistant ophthalmic surgeon at St Bartholomew's Hospital and full surgeon in 1948, at the same time acting as consulting ophthalmic surgeon to the Mid-Herts Hospital Group and serving as secretary of the ophthalmic advisory committee of the NE Metropolitan Regional Hospital Board. In 1949 the Ministry of Transport appointed him their adviser. A good teacher, he joined the Institute of Ophthalmology in 1951, following the publication of his book Ophthalmic Operations, illustrated with his own drawings and photographs, in 1950. In 1952 he carried out a valuable lecture tour in Australia, New Zealand and Canada. An artist of skill and the friend of artists, his hobbies included cabinet making.

He married first Joan Wood Hill by whom he had three daughters, and secondly Dilys Bronwen Jones by whom he had two sons. He died after two years' illness on 26 April 1956 at his home in Hampstead. A memorial service was held in the church of St Bartholomew the Less on 4 May, when the lesson was read by O S Tubbs and an address given by Dr Geoffrey Bourne.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times 30 April 1956 p 13 e, 5 May p 8 b memorial service, and 28 May p 11 a Will; Brit med J 1956, 1, 1050 and p 1178 by R Foster Moore; Lancet 1956, 1, 641 with portrait and appreciation by GB; St Bart's Hosp J 1956, 60, 191 by Rupert Scott, with portrait; Brit J Ophthal 1956, 40, 318 by Rupert Scott, with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England