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Biographical entry Wilson, Harold William (1880 - 1959)

MRCS 12 November 1903; FRCS 14 December 1905; MB London 1907; MS 1909.

14 November 1959
General surgeon


Born at Deer Park, Carlisle in 1880 son of John and Mary Wilson, he studied at St Bartholomew's Hospital, gaining the Matthews Duncan exhibition for midwifery and diseases of women. He also won the Brackenbury scholarship in surgery and the Willett medal in operative surgery in 1905; in 1906 he was awarded the Luther Holden scholarship in surgery and in 1909 gained the London MS. Wilson held various posts at St Bartholomew's including chief assistant surgeon in the out-patient department and senior demonstrator in anatomy. He was also clinical assistant at St Peter's Hospital for Stone, surgeon to out-patients at the Victoria Hospital for Children, and assistant surgeon to the Royal Cancer Hospital.

Wilson served with the RAMC in the first world war, attaining the rank of Major, as surgeon specialist to a base hospital at Boulogne, returning later to St Bartholomew's. In 1918 he became assistant surgeon, full surgeon in 1928, and senior surgeon in 1936. During the second world war he was superintendent of the resident staff at Bart's; he and his wife moved from 91 Harley Street to Charterhouse Square to be nearer the Hospital, and he was on call night and day throughout the "blitz". He retired in 1946 and was made consulting surgeon and a governor of the Hospital. Wilson was a fine general surgeon and a sound diagnostician. In his early days he became interested in urinary diseases.

He was never strong and for many years suffered from a duodenal ulcer. In spite of this he was a skilled fisherman, an excellent shot and a keen motorist. He built a house, Weasel Score, St Olave's, Great Yarmouth soon after the first world war and settled there altogether on retirement; unfortunately his wife, formerly Hester Laird Cox whom he married in 1911, died shortly afterwards. Wilson then lived alone at St Olave's, visited by his only child Mrs St Leger Moore and his grandchildren. He was a slim, well-dressed man who always sported a button-hole. He died on 14 November 1959 aged 79.

Surgery edited by G E Gask and H W Wilson, 1920, including his own article: Surgery of urinary and male genital systems.
The movable kidney: its pathology, symptoms and treatment, with C M Hinds Howell, 1908.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times 16 November 1959, no memoir; Brit med J 1959, 2, 1184 with appreciations by R Foster Moore and F C W Capps, and p 1410 by J B Gurney Smith; Lancet 1959, 2, 977 with portrait and appreciation by JEAO'C].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England