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Biographical entry Secretan, Walter Bernard (1875 - 1966)

MRCS 1900; FRCS 1901; MB BS London 1901; LRCP 1900.

15 May 1875
28 September 1966
General practitioner and General surgeon


Walter Bernard Secretan was born at Croydon on 15 May 1875 and was educated at Bradfield College and Guy's Hospital, qualifying with the Conjoint Diploma in 1900. He was a house-surgeon at Guy's and in 1901 graduated with the London MB BS and also obtained the FRCS. In 1902-3 he made two voyages as a ship's surgeon and then was appointed house surgeon to the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading.

In 1904 he joined Dr Walters in general practice and in 1912 was appointed surgical registrar at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, and assistant surgeon in 1913. Having joined the Territorial RAMC in 1909, when the first world war broke out he served first on the staff of the Reading War Hospital, and then with the 56th General Hospital in France. After demobilization in 1919 he became a full surgeon on the staff of the Royal Berkshire Hospital but continued in general practice till 1927 when he gave this up so as to devote his full time to surgery.

In 1914 Secretan married Dorothy Crosse, daughter of the Rector of Long Wittenham, and they had two children, a son who was killed in a motor accident in 1927 and a daughter who, after her father's retirement in 1948, started a farm with him at Tedburn St Mary in Devon. Five years later they moved to a farm at Hascombe in Surrey where he remained till his death on 28 September 1966. His wife had died in 1931. Secretan was a great character and hunted regularly with the South Berks for a period of 30 years, and was distinguished as one of the first of the general-practitioner surgeons on the staff of the County Hospital to give up the general work and specialize in surgery.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1967, 1, 116].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England