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Biographical entry Spalding, John Eber (1911 - 1964)

MRCS 9 May 1935; FRCS 8 October 1936; LRCP 1935; MB BS London 1936; MS 1939.

Hong Kong
9 December 1964
Wrexham, Derbyshire
General surgeon


The following obituary was published in volume four:

Born at Hong Kong son of Archibald D Spalding MRCS, surgeon Royal Navy, he was educated at St Lawrence College, Ramsgate and Guy's Hospital, where he won an open entrance scholarship in science, prizes in anatomy and physiology, and the Golding Bird medal for bacteriology in 1934. He became demonstrator of anatomy, house surgeon in 1935, and surgical registrar in 1937.

He served at Farnborough County Hospital 1939-45. He was appointed surgeon to the War Memorial and Maelor General Hospitals at Wrexham in 1946, and became visiting surgeon to the Hospitals at Dolgellau and Welshpool. "Sam" Spalding was quick of mind and speech, a good teacher and operator, excelling in the treatment of urinary diseases.

He suffered from increasing deafness which made him avoid public work, nevertheless he served on Wrexham Hospitals Management Committee until his death. He loved gardening and growing bizarre cactuses, and was interested in French clocks, Chinese carpets, and political philosophy, and played chess and bridge.

He lived at Keston Lodge, Chester Road, Wrexham, Denbighshire and died on 9 December 1964 aged 53, survived by his wife Katherine, who had been a nurse at Guy's Hospital, with their two sons and three daughters.


Periarteritis nodosa and its surgical significance. Guy's Hosp Rep 1940-41, 20, 234.

The following obituary was published in volume 5:

John Eber Spalding was born in Hong Kong on 30 August 1911. He was educated at St Lawrence College, Ramsgate, and Guy's Hospital where he had a brilliant career, winning several prizes in his earlier years and later the Golding-Bird Gold Medal in bacteriology. He graduated MB BS in 1935, and subsequently became house-surgeon and demonstrator of anatomy and surgical registrar at Guy's, and obtained the FRCS in 1936, proceeding to the MS degree in 1939.

During the war years he served in the Emergency Medical Service at the County Hospital, Farnborough, and then returned to Guy's as registrar to Sir Heneage Ogilvie. In 1946 he was appointed consultant surgeon to the Wrexham War Memorial Hospital and to the Maelor General Hospital, Wrexham, and later served on the staffs of the Dolgellau Hospital, and the Victoria Memorial Hospital, Welshpool. Spalding was a general surgeon with a special interest in urology, and his good judgment and practical skill, combined with his ability to train his juniors, won him an outstanding reputation among the surgeons of North Wales.

His leisure activities were devoted mostly to intellectual pursuits, as sport was not particularly attractive to him; however, he enjoyed playing chess and bridge. Early and increasing deafness was a handicap, but it was heart-failure that ultimately shortened his life and he had to give up work early in 1964, and died in the Wrexham War Memorial Hospital on 9 December 1964 at the age of 53. His wife Katherine, who had been a Guy's nurse, looked after him with devotion during this final illness, and she and their two sons and three daughters, one of whom was also a nurse at Guy's, survived him.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Lancet 1965, 1, 54 with eulogy by HWJ; Brit med J 1964, 1, 198 and p 390 by GJH and CAL].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England