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Biographical entry Hywel-Davies, Peter Islwyn (1914 - 1972)

TD; MRCS 1936; FRCS 1947; BSc Wales 1933; MB BS London 1937; LRCP 1936.

3 July 1914
Abercynon, Glamorgan
27 May 1972
General surgeon and Orthopaedic surgeon


Peter Islwyn Hywel-Davies was born on 3 July 1914 at Abercynon, Glamorgan, and was educated at the Central School, Aberdare, and Cardiff University where he took the BSc degree in 1933. He then came to the Middlesex Hospital where he qualified with the Conjoint Diploma in 1936, and took the London MB BS in 1937. After house appointments at the Bolingbroke and Middlesex Hospitals, and being already in the Territorial Army, when war broke out in 1939 he was appointed to the surgical division of the 24th (London) General Hospital and later transferred to the 140th Field Ambulance serving in Palestine, and in the Central Mediterranean Force at the time of the Sicily landings. From 1943-46 he worked as a general and an orthopaedic surgeon at the Cambridge Hospital, Aldershot, with the rank of Major, and it was this appointment which decided him upon a career in orthopaedic surgery for which he was trained at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital after demobilization.

Hywel-Davies also worked at St Vincent's Orthopaedic Hospital and in the orthopaedic department of the Westminster Hospital which gave him the necessary experience to become consultant orthopaedic surgeon to West Dorset in 1950. At that time the specialty was poorly accommodated there, but he gradually built up a service which by 1955 had 60 beds in four centres; a second surgeon was then appointed to work with him and by 1960 the unit had its headquarters established at Portland.

This brief account of his achievements is sufficient to indicate his sterling character and determination which were much appreciated by all his colleagues. Since schooldays he had been keen on cricket and football, and for many years was medical officer to the Weymouth football team. He had the misfortune to suffer latterly from a long illness, and died at his home in Weymouth on 27 May 1972 at the age of 57. His wife and two sons survived him.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1972, 3, 56].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England