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Biographical entry Halliwell, Arthur Clare (1896 - 1966)

MRCS 1919; FRCS 1922; BA MB BCh Cambridge 1920.

22 March 1896
Lees, Lancashire
8 September 1966
St Ouen, Jersey
General surgeon


Born on 22 March 1896 at Lees, Lancashire, son of Thomas Henry Halliwell, bank manager, and his wife Ada Clare, he was educated at King Edward VII School, Lytham St Anne's and at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. He then entered the RNVR as a Surgeon Probationer and saw active service in a Flower Class sloop. Later he was temporarily demobilised to qualify and entered the medical school at St Thomas's Hospital. Having qualified in 1919, he returned to the Navy, being commissioned as a Temporary Surgeon-Lieutenant.

On final demobilisation he filled a succession of house appointments at St Thomas's culminating with a two years appointment as resident assistant surgeon, which he completed in April 1927. He then went to practice in Jersey and in 1932 was appointed consulting surgeon to the Jersey General Hospital. His early years in Jersey were not made easy by the intransigence of the existing consulting surgeon only slightly senior to him in age. However, he rapidly attained a predominant position owing to his competence as a surgeon and to his integrity.

When war recommenced in 1939 it was decided that he should be one of the islanders to remain in the event of a German occupation, while his wife and young family were evacuated to England. During the period of occupation he virtually ran the hospital single handed tackling all branches of surgery, being forced to operate in a back room of the hospital as the Germans had requisitioned the main operating theatre. His only method of getting about was by bicycle with tyres latterly made of rope. In common with other islanders his most difficult period came after the allied forces had driven the Germans out of France, by-passing the Channel Islands, which were at this time commanded by a fanatical Nazi admiral who refused to surrender until the final German capitulation. As a result supplies of food were desperately short, even for the occupying forces, and such things as medicinal supplies unobtainable.

During his later years his retirement in 1961 all his energies were devoted to the planning and the development of the hospital on the most modern lines with an up-to-date intensive care unit. It must be remembered that during the summer months the population of the island is doubled by the influx of visitors requiring ample and adequate hospital facilities.

In the BMA he was President of the Southern branch and Chairman of the Jersey Division. He was also President of the Jersey Medical Society.

As a surgeon he was sound, dexterous and efficient. As a man he was inherently honest and one to whom his friends and patients could take their problems, not always medical. He managed to accomplish an enormous amount of work but at the same time had time to devote to his family and his hobbies. A keen and knowledgeable gardener, he was also all his life a noteworthy entomologist.

In 1927 he married Dorothea Goode niece of that great matron of St Thomas's Hospital Dame Alicia Lloyd Still. They had four children, three sons, one of whom is a doctor, and a daughter.

He died at his home Les Charrières, St Ouen, Jersey, on 8 September 1966 aged 70.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1966, 2, 893, with appreciation by WHP; The Times 10 September 1966].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England