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Biographical entry Morgan, Neville Howard (1910 - 1973)

OBE; MRCS and FRCS 1948; MB BS Sydney 1934; MChOrth Liverpool 1947; FRACS.

9 December 1910
Brisbane, Australia
5 December 1973
Orthopaedic surgeon


Neville Howard Morgan was born on 9 December 1910, in Brisbane, the son of Dr T Howard Morgan who was born in Milford Haven, Wales, and became the senior surgeon of the Brisbane General Hospital. Neville was educated at Scots College, Warwick, and Brisbane Grammar School where he won an open Scholarship to the University of Queensland. He did the first year of the medical course at that University and then moved to the University of Sydney where he graduated MB BS in 1934. He then joined the resident medical staff of the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital where he was generally known as Cobber Morgan.

1939 found him in London, living at London House with fellow Australians and undertaking postgraduate surgical training, which was interrupted by the war. In 1940 he joined the AIF and served in Field Ambulances in the East, where he was accidentally wounded in an Officer's Mess when in Palestine, and was afterwards present at the battle of El Alamein. He returned for a while to Australia before being sent to the South West Pacific area where he became the senior medical officer doing an important job in the prisoner-of-war relief mission, for which he was awarded the OBE.

Immediately after his war service he returned to Liverpool to take the Master of Orthopaedic Surgery degree in 1947, and the Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1948. He worked for two years as consultant orthopaedic surgeon in the Derbyshire Orthopaedic and Accident Service, returning then to Sydney in 1950 to become honorary orthopaedic surgeon to the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and also joined the staffs of four of the smaller neighbouring hospitals.

Cobber Morgan was an extremely popular colleague in every one of the various military units and hospitals in which he worked, for friendliness and gaiety seemed to bubble out of him, and he was always sensitive to the needs of others, whether they were his contemporaries or the juniors who were working for him. He was a fine soldier, instilling courage and confidence into the other members of his unit, a skilled orthopaedic surgeon, and greatly loved by a host of friends. In 1955 he married Rosalind Elizabeth Martin and 'Cobber and Roz', as they were always called, complemented each others' lives in an ideal way.

Cobber retired from the Prince Alfred Hospital in 1970, by which time he had unfortunately developed signs of Parkinson's disease which handicapped the rest of his life but never disarmed his courage and good humour. The wonderful way Roz looked after him evoked the admiration of all their friends. When he died on 5 December 1973 his wife survived him.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Med J Aust 1974, 2, 71].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England