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Biographical entry Watkyn-Thomas, Frederic William (1887 - 1963)

MRCS and FRCS 9 June 1921; MB BCh Cambridge 1914; MD 1914.

10 April 1887
31 January 1963
ENT surgeon


Born on 10 April 1887 son of W Watkyn-Thomas of Papcastle, Cumberland, he was educated at Tonbridge School and Trinity College, Cambridge where he was an exhibitioner and Bean W Levy student. For his clinical studies he went to St Bartholomew's Hospital and was awarded the Brackenbury and Holden scholarships. Qualifying in 1914 he entered the RAMC immediately and served until 1920 when he was demobilised with the rank of Major. Having been admitted a Fellow in 1921 he was appointed to the consultant staff of the Central London Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital, which later became amalgamated with Golden Square Hospital to become the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital. In 1933 he joined the staff of the Royal Ear Hospital, which had moved in 1927 from Dean Street, Soho to become part of University College Hospital, and here he became a firm friend of Commander Sir Geoffrey Duveen who had provided the new building in memory of his parents.

For many years Watkyn-Thomas was civilian consultant to the Royal Navy and became a member of the Royal Navy Personnel Research Committee and the Flying Research Committee. At one time President of the Section of Otology of the Royal Society of Medicine, he was on the council of the British Association of Otorhinolaryngologists. He was abstract editor for the Journal of Laryngology and contributed regularly to the Medical Annual until 1954. In 1953 he edited a textbook on Diseases of the Throat, Nose and Ear, writing the whole of the section on the ear himself.

An avid reader and lucid writer, he was a bibliophile with a fine library. As a surgeon he was ambidexterous and precise, being interested particularly in aural surgery and the surgery of the nasal sinuses. A man of great integrity, intelligence and wide culture he could have succeeded in any career he had chosen to adopt.

A connoisseur of good food and wine, he delighted to play the host at the United University Club. A dedicated fisherman, he made regular journeys to Scandinavia and Iceland.

He married in 1928 Ada (Diana) daughter of W N Clayton, and he died in London on 31 January 1963.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times 2 February 1963 p 12 b; Brit med J. 1963, 1, 406].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England