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Biographical entry Raper, Frederick Peter (1913 - 1966)

MRCS and FRCS 1941; MB ChB Leeds 1937.

Grassington, Yorkshire
31 January 1966
General surgeon and Urological surgeon


Born in 1913 at Grassington, Yorkshire, he was the elder son of Professor H S Raper DSc, FRS, Professor of Physiology in Leeds from 1917 to 1923 and in Manchester from 1923 to 1946, when he became Dean of the Faculty until his death in 1951. Raper was educated at Giggleswick School and the medical school of Leeds, which he entered in 1931. After qualification he held appointments as house surgeon and receiving room officer culminating in his appointment in 1941, after being admitted a Fellow, as resident surgical officer in the General Infirmary, holding this position until 1944. He then entered the RAMC serving until 1947 as a surgical specialist in India. Returning to Leeds in 1947 he was appointed surgical tutor to the University and in 1950 was awarded a travelling scholarship by the United Leeds Hospitals, tenable at Ann Arbor, Michigan for further training in urological surgery. Returning to Leeds in 1951 to the post of senior registrar in the United Hospitals and St James's Hospital, in 1952 he was appointed consultant urological surgeon. In April 1964 he became senior consultant and senior clinical lecturer on the retirement of Professor L N Pyrah.

He held many appointments in addition to those in the hospital and university. A member of the council of the British Association of Urological Surgeons from 1959 to 1962 and secretary of the Urological Section of the Royal Society of Medicine from 1956 to 1957, becoming Vice-President from 1957 to 1961, he was secretary of the Leeds and West Riding Medico-Chirurgical Society from 1957 to 1961. He was also President of the Leeds Medical Sciences Club from 1964 to 1965. As a surgeon Raper was an expert craftsman, gentle and dexterous, and was at the same time an able diagnostician. Although he had had a very thorough grounding in general surgery, when it was decided in 1948 to form a department of urology in Leeds, he expressed a desire to become attached to it and to abandon general surgery. His year's experience at Ann Arbor convinced him of the correctness of his decision. Latterly he had become deeply involved with F M Parsons in the problems of renal transplantation, particularly the feasibility of using cadaver kidneys.

As a member of the planning committee of the new teaching hospital in Leeds, he had devoted many hours to the consideration of the problem associated with the integration of a new medical school adjacent to both hospital and university. He was a popular teacher with both under and postgraduate students: possessing considerable powers of exposition aided by a dry sense of humour.

Outside his profession he had many interests. A painter in water colours from early days, and a lover of music, he was an enthusiastic walker in the Yorkshire Dales from his cottage at Malham. Raper died suddenly in the General Infirmary on 31 January 1966 at the early age of 52, leaving a widow and two daughters.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times 1 February 1966 p.12b; Lancet 1966, 1, 377;Brit med J 1966, 1, 425;Ann Roy Coll Surg Eng 1966, 38, 249].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England