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Biographical entry Gimblett, Charles Leonard (1890 - 1957)

MRCS 4 May 1914; FRCS 14 December 1922; LRCP 1914: MRCP 1919; BA Cambridge 1911; MA MB BCh 1915; MD 1918.

19 June 1890
21 January 1957
Ophthalmic surgeon


Born on 19 June 1890 son of Robert Wheddon Gimblett he was educated at Clifton College and Caius College, Cambridge, where he took second-class honours in the Natural Science Tripos, part 1, 1911. At St Thomas's Hospital he was house surgeon and senior ophthalmic surgeon at the R N Hospitals at Chatham and Portsmouth in the years immediately after the end of tehwar.

The East Ham education committee utilised his services during the twenties and for them he produced a valuable Report on the incidence of myopia in school-children 1920-26. He became assistant surgeon to the Royal Westminster Ophthalmic Hospital in 1923 and also ophthalmic surgeon to the Royal Northern Hospital, but resigned from the latter in 1927 on promotion to be full surgeon at the Royal Westminster. He became senior surgeon in 1947 and retired in 1956. In 1930 he was the first surgeon in charge of the new orthoptic department.

Gimblett continued the good work of Claud Worth FRCS in the treatment of strabismus in children, and did more than anyone else to promote a wide public interest in the use of orthoptic eye-exercises for this purpose. He was the first chairman of the Orthoptic Board when it was established in connection with the British Orthoptic Society and the Board of Registration of Medical Auxiliaries established by the British Medical Association in 1933. From 1937 to 1956 he was ophthalmic surgeon to the Lord Mayor Treloar's Orthopaedic Hospital at Alton. He was a vice-president of the Ophthalmology Section in the Royal Society of Medicine. He worked during the war of 1939-45 at Haymeads Hospital, Bishop's Stortford, Herts, and was elected ophthalmic surgeon to the town's General Hospital there, and was also for a time at Saffron Walden, Essex.

Gimblett married in 1935 Audreen Isobel McKenzie, daughter of Duncan McNicol, who survived him with their two sons. He died in the Westminster Hospital on 21 January 1957 aged 66. The funeral was at Newport Pagnell parish church, and a memorial service was held at St Giles in the Fields WC2 on 8 February. He formed a good collection of books on mediaeval art, and was a connoisseur of antique furniture. His favourite recreation was sailing, when taking his holiday in the Mull of Kintyre.


Report on the incidence of myopia in school-children (East Ham Borough council) 1920-26.
Eye diseases, in Romanis and Mitchiner Science and practice of surgery, London, Churchill 1927.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times 23 January 1957 p 12 B, and 9 February, memorial service, and 25 October, will; Brit med J 1957 ,1, 288 with appreciation by G G Penman FRCS and p 409 by Dr A G Salaman of Saffron Waldon; Brit J Ophthal 1957, 41, 256; Lancet 1957, 1, 329 with appreciation by P McG Moffatt FRCS].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England