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Biographical entry Searle, Walter Netley (1904 - 1953)

MRCS and FRCS 9 December 1937; MB ChB Otago 1929; FRCS Ed 1931; FRCOG 1948.

20 May 1904
Oamaru, New Zealand
30 August 1953
Obstetric and gynaecological surgeon


Born on 20 May 1904 at Oamaru in the South Island of New Zealand, fourth child and third son of Walter Searle, a car importer, and Mary Fox his wife, he was educated at Waitaki Boys High School and Otago Medical School, Dunedin. After postgraduate study at Guy's Hospital, he devoted himself to gynaecological surgery, served as resident obstetrical officer at the Royal Maternity and Women's Hospital, Glasgow, and took the Edinburgh Fellowship in 1931.

He was successively house surgeon and resident medical officer, registrar and radium officer at the Chelsea Hospital for Women, and gynaecological registrar and tutor at Westminster Hospital. He took the Fellowship in 1937 and was elected surgeon at the Chelsea Hospital, obstetric surgeon at the Westminster Hospital, and lecturer in obstetrics and gynaecology at the Westminster Medical School. He was also gynaecological surgeon to East Ham Memorial Hospital and obstetric consultant to Enfield borough council. He examined for the Central Midwives Board, the Society of Apothecaries, and the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of which he was admitted a Fellow in 1948. He was twice called upon to deliver living quadruplets.

Searle married in 1930 Agnes (Cissy) daughter of R Bell, formerly professor of mathematics at Otago, who survived him with their son. He died suddenly in the motorship Duquesa, outward bound for New Zealand down the English Channel, on 30 August 1953, aged 49; he had been ill for three years. He lived at 29 St Edmund's Terrace, NW8, and practised at 44 Wimpole Street. Searle was a keen cricketer and a collector of antiques. He usually spent his holidays in the Isle of Arran.


Two cases of haematocolpos. Lancet 1933,1, 961.
Operative treatment of prolapse. J Obstet Gynaec Brit Emp 1934, 41, 69.
Pregnancy after haematocolpos. Ibid 1937, 44, 729.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times 1 September 1953 p 8 E; Lancet 1953, 2, 575 with appreciation by CDR; Brit med J 1953, 2, 630; information from Mrs Searle].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England