Browse Fellows


www Lives

Biographical entry Ingle, Laurence Mansfield (1892 - 1965)

MRCS 1914; FRCS 1926; MB BCh Cambridge 1919; LRCP 1914.

3 April 1965
Anatomist and General surgeon


Laurence Ingle was born in Cambridge in 1892, the son of Arnold Clarkson Ingle, a general practitioner who was also physician to the Leys School. Laurence went to the Leys, and then to King's College, Cambridge, which he entered in 1909 as an Exhibitioner. He was devoted to music and to rowing, becoming Captain of the College Boat Club in 1912. For his clinical studies he came to the London Hospital and qualified with the Conjoint Diploma in 1914. In 1915 he joined the RAMC, was wounded on the Somme, and later served in Salonika, Egypt, and East Africa.

After the war he returned to Cambridge to obtain his degree in medicine, and to revise anatomy to prepare for the Primary FRCS examination. In the summer of 1919 he again rowed for King's, and it was during this second spell at Cambridge that he met Agnes Sinclair Ferguson who was reading English at Newnham; they were married in 1920 and shortly afterwards they left for China where he joined the staff of the Shantung Christian University (later renamed Cheeloo University) as a lecturer in anatomy. Lectures had to be given in Chinese, and Laurence rapidly mastered the language, and in the course of the next few years translated Gray's Anatomy, Rose and Carless's Surgery and Miles and Wilkie's Operative surgery into Chinese, a remarkable achievement for a busy teacher, and later Professor of Surgery.

In 1926 he took the FRCS, and turned over to the practice of surgery, continuing as Professor in Cheeloo University till he retired in 1939 and returned to England, where he did a short course at Roehampton and then served in the Ministry of Pensions dealing with disabled pensioners who required artificial limbs and other appliances. As his work was centred at Cambridge he also undertook some supervision of anatomy for Emmanuel College.

Cheeloo University and its medical school was an interdenominational missionary institution staffed from Great Britain, the United States, Canada and China, and it was important in helping to establish modern medicine in China, in which Ingle played a prominent part. This was due not only to his professional ability, but also to his friendly and cheerful disposition, and there is no doubt that in every aspect of his life he owed a lot to his wife, and to the happy home life he enjoyed with her and their son, who followed his father's example and became a medical missionary in South Africa, and their daughter who became a nurse. As age advanced he suffered increasingly from emphysema which forced him to give up his more energetic pursuits but did not prevent his continuing some of his tutoring in anatomy, and other sedentary occupations. He died at his home in Cambridge on 3 April 1965 and was survived by his wife, son and daughter.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1965, 1, 1559; King's College Cambridge Annual Report 1965, p.41].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England