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Biographical entry Hartley, James Norman Jackson (1889 - 1966)

OBE; MRCS and FRCS 1920; MB ChB 1913; FRCS Ed 1915.

2 July 1889
22 September 1966
General surgeon


James Hartley was born on 2 July 1889 and received his medical education in Edinburgh and Guy's Hospital. He graduated with first class honours in 1913 and as a student gained a number of distinctions including the Ettles and Buchanan Scholarships and the Annadale Gold Medal in Clinical Surgery. He joined the RAMC during the first world war and carried out valuable studies concerning the treatment of war wounds. He was twice mentioned in dispatches and at the end of the war was awarded the OBE (Military).

In 1920, after obtaining his English Fellowship, Hartley returned to Edinburgh as assistant to Sir Harold Stiles. A period as assistant surgeon to the Royal Infirmary followed and in 1927 he was appointed honorary surgeon to the Cumberland Infirmary Carlisle, a post which he held until 1947 when he became conservator of the museum of the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh. He held the post for eight years during which time he played an important part in guiding the affairs of the College and in leading surgical thought in Edinburgh.

Hartley's diagnostic acumen was matched by good judgement and technical skill; he was a tall handsome and rather aesthetic looking man and was so devoted to his work that he had little time for outside pursuits. In addition to his hospital work Hartley was an external examiner in surgery at a number of Universities and also for the Fellowship of the Royal College in Edinburgh. He was also a member of the Provincial Surgical Club and in that capacity travelled widely abroad.

His first wife died at the end of the second world war and he was survived by his daughter, herself a distinguished medical graduate and also by his second wife to whom he owed much for her companionship and devotion.

James Hartley died quietly in Carlisle at the age of 77 on 22 September 1966.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1966, 2, 772].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England