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Biographical entry Lumsden, Kenneth (1900 - 1968)

MRCS and FRCS 1930; MB ChB Edinburgh 1922; DTMH 1925.

26 May 1900
1 January 1968
ENT surgeon, General practitioner and Medical Officer


Kenneth Lumsden was born in Leeds on 26 May 1900 of Scottish ancestry and perhaps it was for this reason that he went to Edinburgh for his medical education, and graduated in 1922. He then joined the Colonial Medical Service and worked in Uganda, and took the Diploma of Tropical Medicine in 1925.

When he returned to England he held house appointments at St Bartholomew's Hospital, the Middlesex Hospital, and the Samaritan Hospital to gain the training necessary for the Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, which he obtained in 1930. He then decided to specialize in ear, nose, and throat surgery and was appointed to the department at the Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street.

In 1934 Lumsden decided to set up in general practice in Saffron Walden, and also acted as ENT surgeon to the Saffron Walden General Hospital until 1948 when the coming of the National Health Service altered the conditions of that appointment, but he continued in his general practice until his death. He also held the post of medical officer to the Friends' School until he died.

It is unusual for someone who has developed skill as a surgical specialist to become a successful family doctor, but Lumsden did manage to gain the confidence and affection of his patients to a remarkable degree. He was widely read, enjoyed golf and tennis and the company of friends and colleagues by whom he was highly esteemed. After a pneumonectomy in 1956 he was able to return to active practice, and even after a laryngectomy in 1966 he was recovering his voice well when he ultimately died on 1 January 1968. He was survived by his wife and two sons.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1968, 1, 386].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England