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Biographical entry Semple, John Edward (1903 - 1969)

MRCS 1929; FRCS 1933; BA 1925; MB BCh 1930; MA Cambridge 1930; MD 1933; LRCP 1929.

18 November 1903
3 October 1969
Urological surgeon


Born on 18 November 1903, he received his medical education at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and St Thomas's Hospital, qualifying with the Conjoint Diploma in 1929. In 1932 he proceeded to the degree of MD being awarded the Raymond Horton-Smith Prize for his thesis and in 1933 he was admitted as a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons. In the same year he was awarded the Copeman Medal for Research. He served as surgical registrar at Great Ormond Street and as resident surgeon at the West London Hospital, after which he became resident surgical officer at St Peter's Hospital for Stone. Deciding to specialise in urology, he was appointed to the staff of St Paul's Hospital in 1939. Joining the RAMC on the outbreak of war, he served in France, Egypt and the Western Desert where he commanded a forward surgical unit and was mentioned in dispatches for his services. On demobilization he returned to St Paul's and received further appointments at Bethnal Green Hospital and the Peace Memorial Hospital, Watford.

An industrious and skilful urological surgeon, he was possessed of great mechanical ability, shown in his development and modification of endoscopic instruments.

His life was made unduly arduous as he suffered from asthma which made him eschew large meetings, but he was a member of the British Association of Urological Surgeons and of the International Society of Urology.

He died suddenly in St Bartholomew's Hospital on 3 October 1969, aged 65, survived by his wife and two children.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1969, 4, 626; Lancet 1969, 2, 1205].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England