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Biographical entry Chapman, Thomas Lightbody (1903 - 1966)

MRCS and FRCS December 1933; MB ChB Glasgow 1928; ChM 1949; FRFPS 1948.

16 June 1903
18 July 1966
Urological surgeon


Born on 16 June 1903, Chapman received his medical education at Glasgow University where he graduated in 1928. He was appointed a senior house surgeon at the Western Infirmary, and later was a demonstrator of anatomy at the University. Coming to London for postgraduate study he worked at St Bartholomew's Hospital, and became a clinical assistant at St Peter's Hospital for Stone.

On his return to Glasgow he was appointed to the surgical staff of the Victoria Infirmary, taking up urology as his special interest and building up a urological department there. In 1948 he was elected FRFPS and in 1949 proceeded to the degree of ChM. with high commendation. He was, in addition, an honorary lecturer in Urology at Glasgow University and urological surgeon to Hairmyres Hospital, East Kilbride and the Ballochmyle Hospital, Mauchline.

A foundation fellow of the British Association of Urological Surgeons, he was one of the early protagonists in Britain of punch prostatectomy, following a period of instruction at the Mayo Clinic under Gresham Thompson. He, together with Wardill in Newcastle and Tom Lane in Dublin, was one of the founders of the 'Punch Club' of which he became the energetic and colourful secretary. At Hairmyres he developed a special unit for this method of treatment, ably assisted by a Polish refugee surgeon.

Latterly he took up angling, which he much enjoyed whether his efforts were crowned with success or not. He lived a free and happy life, a happiness he communicated to his patients and friends. Anyone who had the privilege of getting to know Tom Chapman was stimulated and refreshed by meeting him. A kindly enthusiastic man, he had a wonderful sense of humour and a ready wit. A keen photographer he made use of his hobby in illustrating his teaching and producing animated films of urological procedures, in particular punch prostatectomy. He had himself at various times suffered at the hands of surgeons but, characteristically remained unperturbed by any implications these assaults might have.

He married Dr Phyllis Hooper in 1937 who survived him with a son and daughter, both medical students. He died at his home Park Lodge, 21 Coldswood Road, Glasgow S3 on 18 July 1966 aged 63.


Urology in outline, 1959.
Perurethral methods in benign prostatic hypertrophy. Lancet 1943, 1, 14.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1966, 2, 364-5 with appreciation by J S R, J W and A C].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England