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Biographical entry Hunter, William Rotherham (1911 - 1968)

MRCS 1933; FRCS 1937; MB BCh Liverpool 1933; ChM 1946; LRCP 1933.

18 February 1911
6 April 1968
General surgeon


William Rotherham Hunter was born in Skelmersdale, near Ormskirk, on 18 February 1911, and was educated at Ormskirk Grammar School and the University of Liverpool, graduating MB BCh in 1933. He took the Conjoint Diploma the same year, and after junior posts at the David Lewis Northern Hospital, and Walton Hospital he taught anatomy in the University as a preparation for the FRCS which he took in 1937.

In 1939 he joined the RAMC and after serving at first in a hospital ship he was later posted to a casualty clearing station in the Western Desert and was taken prisoner at Tobruk. On his release he returned to Liverpool to be appointed assistant surgeon to the David Lewis Northern Hospital in 1946, taking the ChM the same year, and in 1948 he became consultant surgeon to the United Liverpool Hospitals and to the Ormskirk General Hospital. In 1950 the Walton Hospital was added, and in 1965 he was made a lecturer in clinical surgery in the University of Liverpool as well as undertaking a considerable amount of committee work in connection with his various hospitals.

Hunter was a general surgeon of the best type, with a special interest in the thyroid gland and in the surgery of the small intestine, and the isolated length of ilium used as a urinary channel. He never spared himself in the interest of his patients, and he trained his young assistants to follow his example.

In his leisure time he enjoyed his garden, an occasional game of golf, and he took a special interest in the welfare and management of his old school. He loved his home and family life and had a great capacity for friendship. His lofty principles had a firm religious foundation, and when he died on 6 April 1968 at the early age of 57 years, after a few days' illness, his death was widely lamented.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1968, 2, 307].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England