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Biographical entry Gibb, Harold Pace (1878 - 1955)

MRCS 12 May 1904; FRCS 13 December 1906; BA Cambridge 1900; MB BCh 1907; LRCP 1904.

21 November 1955
Gerrards Cross, Buckinghamshire
Ophthalmic surgeon


Born in 1878 son of James Gibb, M P for Harrow, he was educated at St Paul's School and Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, where he took first class honours in the Natural Sciences Tripos, part I, in 1900. He took his clinical training at St Bartholomew's Hospital where he served as house surgeon to (Sir) D'Arcy Power. He then was house physician at the Brompton Hospital and for two years at the National Hospital for Paralysis and Nervous Diseases. It was at this period that he collaborated with F E Batten in producing an important study of Myotonia atrophica, which was published in Brain 1909.

Gibb had by now decided to specialise as an ophthalmic surgeon, and was elected to the staff of the Central London Ophthalmic Hospital; he also became ophthalmic surgeon to the West London Hospital and the Victoria Hospital for Children in Chelsea. Thoroughly altruistic, Gibb cared little for private practice and devoted himself whole-heartedly to his work on the honorary staff of his hospitals. When war broke out in 1914 he tried to enlist as a combatant, but was subsequently commissioned as a temporary Captain in the RAMC. He served in Mesopotamia under Sir Victor Horsley, whom he had known at the National Hospital, and attended Horsley's funeral there. Later he was appointed an ophthalmic specialist with Frank Juler at No 24 General Hospital, Etaples, France.

After the war he resumed his London practice at 53 Harley Street and his hospital appointments. He retired just before the beginning of the second world ward, but returned to his duties at the Central London Ophthalmic hospital from 1939 to 1945. He then retired to his house at Gerrard's Cross, Bucks, where he died on 21 November 19555 aged 77. Gibb was a brilliant but diffident man, with a flair for playing ball games. At Cambridge he played cricket for his college, as he had for his school; in later life he was an excellent golfer with a beautiful style. He was an omnivorous reader and painted in water colours. He was admired and liked by all who worked with him.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1955, 2, 451 with portrait, and appreciation by R Foster Moore OBE, FRCS].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England