Browse Fellows


www Lives

Biographical entry Hudson, Rupert Vaughan (1895 - 1967)

MRCS 1922; FRCS 1927; LRCP 1922.

January 1895
10 September 1967
General surgeon


Born in January 1895, the son of Dr J Wasdale Hudson, he was educated at Epsom College. Both his father and grandfather were Middlesex men and he too, entered Middlesex Hospital, in 1913. More recently his son maintained the tradition and is now lecturer in physiology in the Medical School.

He took his first MB in 1914 and on the outbreak of the war joined the Hertfordshire Yeomanry and Cavalry Reserve, serving for a year as a trooper before being promoted to commissioned rank. On demobilisation in 1919 he returned to the Middlesex and qualified MRCS, LRCP in 1922. He was appointed house-officer to the special departments and in 1923 was awarded the Crausaz Cancer Research Scholarship. In 1924 he became house surgeon to Mr (later Sir) Gordon Gordon-Taylor and in 1926 succeeded as his registrar. He took the FRCS Eng Diploma in 1927 and in the following year was elected assistant surgeon to the Middlesex Hospital. He was also consulting surgeon to the Connaught Hospital, St Saviour's Hospital and the Royal Infant Orphanage, and was examiner in surgery to the Universities of London and Cambridge, where he achieved the reputation of being a fair and courteous examiner. On the retirement of Mr Sampson Handley in 1937 he became full surgeon to the Middlesex and was senior surgeon for ten years before his premature retirement through ill health in 1959.

He was a general surgeon with a special interest in the neck, the breast and the abdomen, but will be best remembered for his work on the thyroid. His publications with Doniach and Roitt revolutionised the diagnosis and treatment of goitre, particularly Hashimoto's disease. During the second world war he was active in the research and treatment of burns and gave an extensive trial to the Bunyan-Stannard methods. He was appointed to the Medical Research Council penicillin clinical trials committee and was in charge of the centre established at the Middlesex Hospital; he taught his colleagues how to use penicillin and streptomycin and reported on the treatment of 400 patients.

Hudson was a born athlete and excelled at cricket, rugger and hockey; yet he was a modest man and reticent about his accomplishments. He was loyal to his friends who were devoted to him. He retired to Monmouthshire, but his later years were marred by illness and eye trouble; he died at Abergavenny on 10 September 1967.

He married in 1929 and had one son and two daughters.

Branchiogenetic carcinoma; its occupational incidence and origin. Brit J Surg 1926, 14, 280.
The remote results of gastrectomy. Brit J Surg 1928, 16, 641.
Carcinomatous change in mixed salivary gland tumours. Brit J Surg 1942, 30, 175. Auto-antibodies in Hashimoto's disease (Lymphadenoid goitre). Lancet 1956, 2, 820. Diagnostic aspects of lymphadenoid goitre. Proc Roy Soc med 1957, 50, 946. Lymphadenoid goitre (Hashimoto's disease); diagnostic and biochemical aspects. Brit med J 1957,1, 672.
The surgery of the thyroid gland. Brit J Surg 1957, 45, 463.
Intramural gastric tumours. Brit J Surg 1958, 46, 361.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times 12 September 1967, p10; Lancet 1967, 2, 678 with portrait; Brit med J 1967, 3, 804; Middlesex Hospital J 1959, 59, 167 and 1967, 67, 181 with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England