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Biographical entry Greenwood, Charles Henry (1875 - 1969)

FRCS 1904; MB ChB Victoria Univ. Leeds 1899; MB ad eundem Leeds 1905.

3 September 1875
26 January 1969
General practitioner, General surgeon and Medical Officer


Charles Henry Greenwood was born in Leeds on 3 September 1875, the second son of Henry Greenwood, a director of the engineering firm of Greenwood and Batley, and his wife, Charlotte Elizabeth, née Wartzburg. He was educated at Sedbergh School, and entered Leeds University Medical School in 1894, qualifying in 1899. He became house surgeon to Sir Arthur Mayo Robson and casualty officer later, followed by some postgraduate study, and he took the FRCS in 1904.

He settled at Ripon in 1907 joining a general practice partnership which he had greatly enlarged by the time he retired nearly forty years later. He was the driving force behind the development of the Ripon and District Hospital, building a theatre block, and later physiotherapy and X-ray departments. Previously surgical cases went by horse-drawn ambulance to Ripon station and thence by rail to Leeds General Infirmary. Greenwood proved himself an excellent general practitioner surgeon.

During the first world war he was in charge of a small military hospital at Ripon. In 1929 he was appointed as part-time Medical Officer of Health to Ripon city, developed an interest in social medicine, housing and slum clearance. He formed the Ripon Housing Improvement Trust, and was its first chairman. Its objective was to buy old property, improve it to the required standard, and let it at minimal rates. This Trust is still active and of considerable benefit to the city of Ripon. During the second world war he was responsible for civil defence and first aid in the Ripon area.

Greenwood was also medical officer to the Post Office, to Ripon Training College, and to Skellfield School. He was Chairman of the Harrogate branch of the BMA 1922-23 and President of the Harrogate Medical Society 1924, and was the Founder Chairman of the Ripon Rotary Club.

Greenwood loved good literature and music, often hearing opera and concerts at Leeds or Harrogate. Fishing and camping in the Western Highlands made his favourite holidays. He built a house at Windermere to which he retired in 1946. His wife, Mabel Mortiboy, died in 1944; they had married in 1907. Their elder daughter married Lieutenant-General Sir John Worsley; his son and younger daughter Dr Joan Greenwood MB, ChB Leeds lived with him. He died on 26 January 1969, aged 93.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1969, 1, 721].

The Royal College of surgeons of England