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Biographical entry Robinson, Richard Garwood (1915 - 1997)

CBE; GM 1941; MB BS London 1939; MRCS LRCP 1939; FRCS 1946; ChM New Zealand 1956; FRACS 1957.

9 April 1915
Dartford, Kent
27 September 1997
Editor and Neurosurgeon


Richard Garwood Robinson was professor of neurosurgery at Otago University, New Zealand. He was born in Dartford, Kent, on 9 April 1915, the son of William Thomas Robinson, a pharmacist, and Annie Elizabeth Robinson née Garwood, the daughter of a farmer. He was educated at St Dunstan's College in Catford and then studied medicine at Guy's Hospital Medical School, qualifying in 1939.

He held house posts at the Seaman's Hospital, Addenbrooke's and Guy's, and then in 1941 joined the RAF Bomber Command as a squadron leader, serving until 1946. He was awarded the George Medal for bravery in 1941.

Following his demobilisation, he trained in neurosurgery in Sheffield. In 1951 he was appointed as a consultant neurosurgeon in Dunedin, New Zealand. He was director of neurosurgery there from 1964 to 1981, and a professor at the University of Otago from 1976 to 1981. He pioneered stereotactic surgery for Parkinson's disease in New Zealand. He was president of the Neurological Association of New Zealand from 1963 to 1965.

In 1959 he was Hunterian professor at the Royal College of Surgeons on hydatid disease affecting the nervous system, and gave a guest lecture at the National Hospital, Queen Square, on temporal lobe agenesis.

In 1967 he became editor of the New Zealand Medical Journal, a role he continued until a few months before his death on 27 September 1997 from metastatic cancer of the prostate. He was 82. Predeceased by his wife Flo (née Monk), he was survived by his two daughters, Sara and Celia, and five grandchildren.

Sarah Gillam

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 1997 315 1545 - accessed 3 September 2016; prabook Richard Garwood Robinson neurosurgeon - accessed 3 September 2016].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England