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Biographical entry Smith, Julian Ormond (1903 - 1971)

MBE; MRCS and FRCS 1929; FRACS 1931; FACS Hon 1963; MB BS Melbourne 1926; MD 1928.

21 January 1903
Morwell, Victoria, Australia
8 December 1971
General surgeon


Julian Ormond Smith was born on 21 January 1903 at Morwell, Victoria, the son of Julian August Romaine Smith a distinguished surgeon in Melbourne. He was educated at Melbourne Grammar School and entered the University of Melbourne in 1921 where he shone in athletics, gained a football blue, and graduated MB BS in 1926, well ahead of all his class-mates. He served on the resident staff of the Royal Melbourne Hospital from 1926 till 1928 when he passed the MD examination and came over to England to obtain the FRCS in 1929. While in London he worked as private assistant to Sir Thomas Dunhill who was a friend of his father, and in 1930 returned to Australia as surgeon to outpatients at the Royal Melbourne Hospital.

During the second world war he served first as a Major in a casualty clearing station in the Middle East, was mentioned in despatches and was awarded the MBE. Later he was transferred to the South West Pacific area, and throughout his military service his leadership had a stimulating effect on every unit to which he was attached. Though intolerant of anything second-rate, and sternly critical of his juniors, he was always prepared to help and advise them with a kindly consideration which was greatly appreciated.

In 1946 he was appointed surgeon to inpatients at the Royal Melbourne Hospital and continued in that post till his retirement in 1962. He was a dynamic teacher and became Dean of the Clinical School.

Distinguished as Orm Smith was as a surgeon and a teacher, his chief claim to fame must be his record of service to the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons, of which he became a Fellow in 1931. In 1932 he was made honorary assistant secretary, and from 1933 to 1936 he worked as honorary secretary of the College. In 1936 he became honorary treasurer. He was a member of the Council from 1953 till 1965; Censor-in-Chief from 1951 to 1961; and in 1961 Senior Vice-President, becoming President in 1962 to 1964. In 1965 he was made the honorary archivist to undertake the writing of the College history for which he was admirably suited because of his long and intimate association with its work and his deep respect for its aims and ideals, and the prominent part he played in planning its buildings and furni┬Čture and other possessions.

Orm Smith's professional interests appeared to most people so absorbing that it was only his most intimate acquaintances who knew of his keenness on gardening, and especially on growing many varieties of roses, and of his knowledge of historical and biographical literature, and his love of music. For a man of his temperament life was bound to have its ups and downs, but Orm was fortunate in having his wife Marian to support him with patience and affection, especially in his final illness. When he died on 8 December 1971 his wife survived him.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Aust NZ J Surg 1972, 41, 297].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England