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Biographical entry Pocock, John Arthur (1905 - 1968)

MRCS 1928; FRCS 1934; MB BCh Cambridge 1931; LRCP 1928.

22 August 1905
25 September 1968
General surgeon and Urological surgeon


John Arthur Pocock, the son of a general practitioner, was born on 22 August 1905. He went to school at Oundle and then to Cambridge and University College, London, where he qualified with the Conjoint Diploma in 1928. He took the Cambridge degree in 1931 and the FRCS in 1934, and after some junior appointments in London went to Bristol where he became senior resident officer and surgical registrar in 1937. At this early stage in his career he already showed the selfless devotion to his duties and to the welfare of his patients which was to be the outstanding feature for the rest of his life.

His training at Bristol was interrupted by the second world war when he joined the RAF and served in many parts of the world till he finally landed in Egypt as a Wing-Commander in charge of a surgical division. After the war he returned to Bristol, and in 1946 was appointed surgeon to the Bristol Royal Hospital. With the advent of the NHS he became consultant surgeon to the United Bristol Hospitals and to Southwood Hospital.

For many years Pocock was treasurer of the Surgical Club of South-West England, and a member of the British Association of Urological Surgeons for although he was a general surgeon he always had a special interest in urology. His conscientious and competent discharge of his clinical duties won the confidence and the admiration of his colleagues who came to rely on his judgement and skill not only for their patients but for any member of their family in need of surgical treatment. Yet it was his outstanding personality and his manner of treating every patient as a personal problem which was of such special value in the training of his juniors, and for which he will long be remembered by all who were associated with him.

When he died on 25 September 1968 after a long and trying illness he was survived by his wife Barbara and their daughter and two sons.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1968, 4, 126].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England