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Biographical entry Smith, Archibald Gordon (1898 - 1972)

MRCS FRCS 1925; MB ChB Glasgow 1920; MD 1934.

19 December 1898
2 January 1972
Dermatologist and Venereologist


Archibald Gordon Smith was born at Gourock on 19 December 1898, and was educated at Greenock Academy and Glasgow University where he graduated MB ChB in 1920. During the first world war he interrupted his studies in 1917 and joined the Navy as a Surgeon Probationer. After graduation he became house surgeon to Sir William MacEwen, and then moved to Norwich where he was house surgeon at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital, the first attachment to a hospital which later became the principal focus of his professional career.

But after his junior hospital posts Smith was appointed demonstrator of anatomy at the Middlesex Hospital, and passed the FRCS in 1925. He then went out to Colombo as Professor of Anatomy for three years, after which he decided to return to clinical work in a partnership in Bombay where he developed an interest in dermatology. This led to a course of study in Paris and the MD Glasgow in 1934 after which he returned to Norwich to practice as a dermatologist. It was in this capacity that he was later appointed to the staff of the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital.

In the second world war he joined the army as specialist in dermatology and venereology serving in the United Kingdom. In 1945 he was adviser in dermatology, stationed at Rawalpindi, with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel, and in the following year he returned to Norwich, where he remained until his retirement in 1964.

He was popular with his colleagues who admired his kindly good humour, and his interest in classical history and archaeology. He had been President of the Norfolk and Norwich Medico-Chirurgical Society. He died at his home in Beccles on 2 January 1972, and was survived by his wife.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1972, 1, 253].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England