Browse Fellows


www Lives

Biographical entry Tucker, William Eldon (1872 - 1953)

MRCS 9 February 1899; FRCS by election 9 April 1953; LRCP 1899; BA MB BCh Cambridge 1902.

17 August 1872
Hamilton, Bermuda
18 October 1953
General surgeon


Born on 17 August 1872 at Hamilton, Bermuda son of the Rev (afterwards Archdeacon) George Tucker and Theodosia Trott his wife, he was educated at Charles Grey's School, Bermuda, at Trinity College School, Port Hope, Canada 1887-91, and at Caius College, Cambridge from October 1891. He rowed in the College boat in the Lent races of 1892-3-4-5 and played cricket in the College XI for the same years; but he made his chief mark at Rugby football, getting his "blue" in 1892 and being captain of the university XV in 1894. He played for England in 1894 and 1895, for Blackheath when that club won the championship in 1897, and was captain of the United Hospitals XV in 1899.

He took his clinical training at St George's Hospital where he subsequently held resident posts, having qualified in 1899. He took the Cambridge degrees in 1902 and then returned to Hamilton, Bermuda, where he practised with success for the rest of his life, and became one of the leading citizens. He was surgeon to the King Edward Hospital, which with the help of his cousin D C Trott he greatly improved. During the first world war he was surgeon to the Military Hospital and surgical specialist to the Bermuda command. Cars were not allowed in the island till 1947, and he accordingly still used a horse-drawn carriage for his professional rounds thirty years after his English and American mainland colleagues. He retired in 1949 at the age of 77, and lived latterly at Villa Manticello, Flatts, Bermuda. In his eighty-first year he flew to England by way of New York, which is 700 miles from the Isle, to receive the Fellowship of the College although suffering from osteo-arthritis of the hip joints and arteriosclerosis in both his legs.

The elder of his two sons, who both survived him with their mother, William Eldon Tucker (the second) CVO, MBE became a Fellow in 1930 and practised as an orthopaedic surgeon in London; like his father he also played football for England and was captain of the Cambridge XV in 1925.

Tucker died in Bermuda on 18 October 1953 aged 81; Mrs Tucker died on 8 February 1955 at Park House, Hamilton, Bermuda in her seventy-ninth year.

Among other public appointments Tucker had been a member of the Bermuda Board of Health, chairman of the Hospital Advisory Committee and the Medical Examination Board, and medical officer to the Leprosarium.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times 21 October 1953 page 1 b; St Geo Hosp Gaz. 1954, 39, 64; Lancet 1953, 2, 943; Brit med J 1953, 2, 1051 with portrait and appreciation by R J Willan].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England