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Biographical entry Southam, Arthur Hughes (1888 - 1970)

MRCS and FRCS 1915; BA Oxford 1909; MA BM BCh 1913; MCh 1915; MD 1922; LRCP 1915.

27 June 1888
16 March 1970
General surgeon


Arthur Hughes Southam was born in Manchester on 27 June 1888; both his father and his grandfather were surgeons to the Manchester Royal Infirmary. He was educated at Rugby and Christ Church, Oxford graduating as BA in 1909. For his clinical training he returned to Manchester, qualifying as BM BCh in 1913, also proceeding to the degree of MA. He took the Conjoint Diploma twelve months later and was admitted a Fellow in 1915 at the same time becoming MCh. Entering the RAMC he served in France with a casualty clearing station and later at a base hospital at Boulogne. Returning to Manchester in 1919 he was appointed resident surgical officer at the Manchester Royal Infirmary, being awarded the Tom Jones Scholarship at Manchester University in 1921.

Later he secured appointments at the Salford Royal Hospital, the Royal Manchester Children's, the Manchester Northern and the Jewish Hospitals. He relinquished all those on being appointed to the staff of the Manchester Royal Infirmary in 1930.

In 1926 he was a Hunterian Professor at the College, lecturing on imperfect descent of the testis, and during the years 1922-1968 he worked with S R Wilson on male spinners' carcinoma of the scrotum, which work stimulated a government enquiry.

As a teacher in his outpatient clinic he was among the best and he was a sound and careful operator. After his appointment to the full staff he played no part in surgery outside Manchester and contributed little to medical literature and, never robust, he found his work at the Royal Infirmary sufficient. At one time he acted as an examiner in surgery for the University of Oxford. He retired a fortnight before the appointed day of the NHS and thereby severed a family connection with the Royal Infirmary extending over nearly a century, represented by his grandfather, father and himself.

He was twice married, having two children by his first wife, one of whom is John Armitage Southam FRCS. After retirement to North Wales, he disappeared from the surgical scene.

He died on 16 March 1970 at his home Nutcombe, Llandudno.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1970, 1, 823;Daily Telegraph 17 March 1970].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England