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Biographical entry Husband, Anthony Dearden (1913 - 1972)

MRCS 1940; FRCS by election 1969; MA Cambridge 1935; LRCP 1940.

8 October 1913
23 November 1972
Orthopaedic surgeon


Anthony Dearden Husband was born on 8 October 1913 at Lahore, his father and grandfather having been medical men. He went to preparatory school at Pinewood School, Farnborough, and then to Wellington, and St John's College, Cambridge. For his clinical studies he went to St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College and qualified with the Conjoint Diploma in 1940.

Even as a student he showed practical interest in social problems, organizing activities for village boys near Cambridge, and children in the East end of London, and also campaigning for abortion law reform, and against capital punishment. As a conscientious objector Husband served in the Friends' Ambulance Unit during the war, much of the time in Ethiopia.

After the war he decided to stay in Africa and for the next 20 years he developed a very good surgical unit at El Obeid in the Sudan, concentrating on orthopaedic work with a special clinic to help the child victims of poliomyelitis. In 1957 he married Miss Wendy Higgs, the matron of the hospital, and although they did not have any children of their own they brought up several African orphan boys in their own home. Husband also had a great love of animals and his garden was turned into a miniature zoo.

The onset of Parkinson's disease forced him to abandon his work in the Sudan, and though he worked for a time in the Cayman Islands, and in Nigeria he eventually retired to Norwich where he helped to run a clinic for patients suffering from his own complaint.

He was elected FRCS in 1969 which was a suitable reward for a remarkable surgical career and an acknowledgement of his intellectual honesty and an interest in the welfare of his fellow men which overcame his own physical handicap. When he died at his Norwich home on 23 November 1972 his wife survived him.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1972, 4, 797].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England