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Biographical entry Reid, Hugh (1893 - 1971)

MRCS 1919; FRCS 1921; MB ChB Liverpool 1920; MD Liverpool 1945; LRCP 1919.

19 January 1893
Bebington, Cheshire
9 March 1971
General surgeon and Thoracic surgeon


Hugh Reid was born, one of twins, in Bebington, Cheshire, on 19 January 1893, the son of a forwarding agent. The family soon moved to Lancashire and Hugh went to Merchant Taylor's School, Crosby. His studies at the Liverpool Medical School were interrupted by the first world war and he served as a Surgeon Probationer in a destroyer. During the latter part of his time in the Navy, when stationed in Liverpool, he gave lecture demonstrations in anatomy in the Medical School. It is said that he rode up Brownlow Hill on horseback, in naval uniform and cloak, and tied his horse to the railings of the Medical School.

After resuming his studies he qualified in the London Conjoint examination in 1919 and the Liverpool MB ChB, in 1920. He obtained the FRCS in 1921. He was appointed as honorary assistant surgeon to the David Lewis Northern Hospital in 1923, and two years later moved to the Royal Infirmary. At one time he had considered a career in gynaecology but his new appointment committed him to general surgery. His many anecdotes about Frank Jeans and Robert Kelly, with whom he worked, were colourful and entertaining. He had a great admiration for the German school of surgery, and visited Sauerbruch several times. Together with Moriston Davies and others, he was a founder member of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons, subsequently becoming President of the Society. He was one of the first surgeons, if not the first, to perform a pneumonectomy in the North of England.

In 1928 he was appointed honorary thoracic surgeon to the North Wales Sanatorium. He was also interested in the surgery of malignant disease, and in 1940 was appointed honorary surgeon to the Liverpool Radium Institute. Other appointments included honorary surgeon to the Liverpool Homoeopathic Hospital and to the Chest Unit at Broadgreen Hospital. He became interested in the surgery of the thymus in myasthenia gravis and in 1945 was awarded the degree of Doctor of Medicine at Liverpool for his work in this field. He was a member of the Court of Examiners from 1958 to 1964.

His ward rounds, for which he always wore an elegantly waisted double breasted white coat and a monocle, were occasions that many of his students and associates will always remember. During the second world war a close friendship developed between Hugh Reid and Dean Dwelly at Liverpool Cathedral. Hugh became a firewatcher and took up residence in the Cathedral. He was deeply steeped in the scriptures and loved the liturgy of the Established Church.

As recreation he enjoyed shooting, skiing and climbing in the Alps. In 1943 he married Sheila Carmichael, herself a doctor. They lived at the Old Rectory, Ruthin, where they had three daughters one of whom became a dental surgeon. After his retirement he frequently preached at Llanbedr Parish Church where he was a lay reader. Hugh Reid died aged 78 on 9 March, 1971.

The Royal College of Surgeons of England