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Biographical entry Strang, Robert Reginald Stanley (1905 - 1971)

MRCS and FRCS 1936; MB ChB Glasgow 1929; DLO 1932.

6 March 1905
Abbey St Bathans, Berwickshire
8 December 1971
ENT surgeon


Robert Reginald Stanley Strang was born on 6 March 1905, at Abbey St Bathans, Berwickshire, where his father was the Minister in the Church of Scotland. He was educated at Fettes College, Glasgow University and King's College, London, and as an undergraduate he gained a distinction in surgery, and played in the University first XV in 1926.

After his first house appointments in medicine and surgery he became house surgeon to the ear nose and throat department in the Glasgow Royal Infirmary thus showing at this early stage an interest in the specialty which he was to follow for the rest of his professional career. He became house surgeon and then registrar at Golden Square Hospital, London, and after more senior posts in Winchester and at the Royal Masonic Hospital he became registrar in the ear, nose and throat department of the Birmingham General Hospital in 1934. He took the Fellowship in 1936, and in 1939 was appointed consultant ENT surgeon to the Birmingham United Hospital. He was also consultant otolaryngologist to the Kidderminster and District General Hospital, the Mid-Worcestershire Hospitals Group, and the King Edward VII Memorial Hospital, Warwick. In his early days in Birmingham he came under the influence of Mr Musgrave Woodman and Mr Stirk Adams.

In the second world war he served in the RAMC as a specialist in otolaryngology, first as a Major attached to Edinburgh Castle, and later in France where he landed with the first hospital to be set up in Normandy on D Day. He was subsequently sent to India as adviser in otolaryngology to the Southern Army with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel.

He took his full share of duty as a member of the Section of Laryngology and Otology of the Royal Society of Medicine, and was honorary secretary of the Midland Institute of Otology, and a member of the British Association of Otolaryngologists.

In 1939 Strang married Gladys Elsa Walker, a medical graduate of St Andrew's University. They had three daughters and one son, the youngest daughter following the family profession and graduating in medicine in Birmingham in 1972. His favourite pastimes were golf and skiing, and most of the family holidays were spent abroad, camping in the summer and skiing in the winter. He suffered a coronary thrombosis while crossing to Cherbourg in August 1970, and underwent a heart operation in December, and a prostate operation in March 1971. A second heart operation was performed in October, but in spite of his courage and patience in bearing an unfortunate series of surgical efforts they finally failed to save him and he died on 8 December 1971. His wife and family survived him.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1971, 4, 817; Lancet 1971, 2, 1433].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England