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Biographical entry Ormerod, Frank Cunliffe (1894 - 1967)

MRCS 1916; FRCS 1926; MB ChB Manchester 1916; MD 1920; LRCP 1916; FRCS Ed 1921.

23 August 1894
25 January 1967
ENT surgeon


Frank Cunliffe Ormerod was born in Lancashire on 23 August 1894, and was educated at Manchester Grammar School and the University of Manchester where he had a distinguished career, winning the Dreschfeld and Dauntesey Scholarships, and graduated in medicine in 1916. He also passed the final Conjoint Examination, and after holding house appointments at the Manchester Royal Infirmary and at the Birmingham and Midland Ear Nose and Throat Hospital he joined the RAMC. He served first in Mesopotamia, and in 1919 was in Afghanistan as Medical Officer to the 1/4 Gurka Rifles.

On demobilization he completed his interrupted medical course by taking the MD in 1920, and also passing the FRCS Edinburgh in 1921. He then came to London and commenced to specialize in otolaryngology, being appointed to the staff of the Hospital for Diseases of the Throat, Golden Square, and also the Brompton and the Westminster Hospitals. Although he later distinguished himself in the postgraduate field, his contribution to undergraduate teaching at Westminster was very greatly appreciated, for his forthright manner and his integrity impressed his students, who profited from his teaching not only in the scientific and clinical aspects of his specialty but also in his regard for the ethical standards of medical practice. He took a lively interest in their social and sporting activities and was president of the students' union and of the rugby football club.

Ormerod passed the Final FRCS England in 1926, and in spite of the demands of a large private practice he developed a deep interest in the academic side of his specialty. His reputation was recognized by his colleagues by his Presidency of the Section of Otology of the Royal Society of Medicine in 1942-43, and he was one of the founders of the British Association of Otolaryngologists. He was scientific secretary of the Fourth International Congress of Otolaryngology held in London a few months before his appointment in 1949 as Professor of Laryngology and Otology in the University of London at the newly established Institute of the British Postgraduate Medical Federation based on the Royal National Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital. His whole career had prepared him admirably for the duties and responsibilities of this chair, and having willingly abandoned private practice he was able to devote all his time and energy to the creation of a teaching and research unit which, in spite of early difficulties, was an established success by the time of his retirement in 1959.

Even after he retired from clinical work he continued at the Institute as director of research, and his final efforts on its behalf were directed to the collection of instruments and biographical records to illustrate the development of the specialty of otolaryngology.

Although his academic activities were associated with university institutions, he was a member of the Court of Examiners of the College. And in every aspect of his life his kindly interest and consideration for colleagues, students and patients must be an outstanding feature to be gratefully remembered in any record of his life and work. He died at his home in London, after a short illness, on 25 January 1967, and his devoted wife survived him until 11 August 1975. Their two sons survived them.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1967, 1, 305 and 436; Lancet 1967, 1, 287; Daily Telegraph 12 August 1975].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England