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Biographical entry Wilson, John Black Ferguson (1883 - 1959)

MRCS 26 July 1906; FRCS 8 December 1919; MB BS London 1907; MS 1914.

14 May 1883
West Derby, Lancashire
24 June 1959
General surgeon


Born on 14 May 1883 at West Derby, Lancashire he was educated at Leeds Grammar School and University. After a brilliant undergraduate career there and at the London Hospital, where he had his clinical training, he qualified in 1906 and obtained the London MB, BS in 1907.

Wilson held house appointments at Leeds General Infirmary and Sheffield Royal Hospital from 1907 to 1912, when he was appointed honorary assistant surgeon to the latter and served there until retirement in 1943.

Early in his career he was attracted to orthopaedic surgery, joined the British Orthopaedic Association on the invitation of Sir Robert Jones, but remained a general surgeon. He was one of the first to use caudal block anaesthesia regularly.

Extremely widely read in surgery, he presented his books to the hospital library on retirement. A sound diagnostician and a cautious surgeon, Wilson was recognised by his colleagues as first rate, but because of his reserve and disinclination to write was never widely known.

A bachelor, Wilson lived after retirement at 8 Silver Birch Avenue, Fulwood, Sheffield. His leisure was spent in listening to classical music, in generous hospitality, and at the cinema. He died at home on 24 June 1959 aged 76, survived by his brother.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1959, 2, 829 with an appreciation by three colleagues; J Bone Jt Surg 1959, 41 B, 853 with portrait and appreciation by AD].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England