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Biographical entry Thring, Edward Thomas (1860? - 1947)

MRCS 20 July 1882; FRCS 11 June 1885; LRCP 1883.

12 July 1947
Sydney, Australia


Born in England about 1860, he received his medical training at University College Hospital, where he was Atkinson Morley surgical scholar. After qualifying in 1882 he was appointed to the staff of the Royal Hospital for Women, Paddington, and took the Fellowship in 1885. He emigrated to Australia in 1886 and went into practice at Petersham near Sydney in partnership with David Collingwood MRCS and G E Twynam MRCS.

In 1890 he set up as a consultant gynaecologist in Macquarie Street, Sydney, having in the previous year been appointed assistant to Joseph Foreman MRCS at the Prince Alfred Hospital. He served the Hospital for fifty-eight years, becoming gynaecological surgeon in 1897 and consultant in 1915. During the first world war he was commissioned in the RAMC, but transferred to the Australian AMC, and saw active service in France. For ten years he was surgeon to the Coast (later the Prince Henry) Hospital, and for six years to the Lewisham Hospital. He was Honorary Secretary and subsequently President of the New South Wales branch of the British Medical Association.

Thring was a brilliant technical surgeon; he was a follower of the American gynaecologist Howard Kelly, and claimed to read twenty pages of Kelly's Operative Gynaecology every day; Thring's own work was greatly admired by Victor Bonney. He was a pioneer of hysterectomy, and was said to have invented the operation known as Wertheim's (Ann Roy Coll Surg Engl 1953, 13, 262). He was a founder of the Australian Massage Association, and President of the Australasian Trained Nurses Association.

Thring was a small, hardworking, intelligent, and enthusiastic man. He could be charming when off duty, but was peppery and caustic while at work. He was interested in literature, art, public affairs, and sport, and was himself an athlete, horseman, and swordsman, and an expert gardener at his country home. He was a prominent member of the Australian Club and a director of the Bank of New South Wales. He was known to his friends as "Teddie". Thring died at Sydney on 12 July 1947, survived by his wife.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Med J Austral 1947, 2, 282, appreciation by H H Schlink, with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England