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Biographical entry Slater, Russel Bell (1922 - 1972)

MRCS and FRCS 1963; MB BS Durham 1943.

23 February 1922
14 June 1972
General practitioner, General surgeon, Military surgeon and Urologist


Born 23 February 1922 at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the only child of R O Slater, company director, and Emma Bell, his wife. He was educated at the Royal Grammar School, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and at the Medical School of the University of Durham. He qualified in 1943 and was appointed house surgeon at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle-upon-Tyne. He entered the Royal Naval Medical Service in the rank of Surgeon Lieutenant on 31 March 1944, and was present, aboard a landing ship, at the invasion of Normandy in June 1944. He joined the destroyer, HMS Keppel, patrolling in the English Channel, in September 1944, and the corvette, HMS Lancaster Castle, engaged on Arctic duties, in the following year. Slater was released from the Service in February 1947, but continued to retain an active interest as a reservist. He held appointments as surgical registrar at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and demonstrator in the department of anatomy at the Medical School of the University of Durham. He entered general practice at Boroughbridge, Yorkshire in 1954 but remained restless in civil life.

On 31 July 1956, Slater re-entered the Royal Naval Medical Service with the rank of Surgeon Lieutenant-Commander. He was drafted to HMS Theseus and in the sick bay of the aircraft carrier demonstrated his surgical competence by performing a number of successful emergency operations, under trying conditions, on wounded evacuated from Suez during the crisis of November 1956. He was appointed specialist in surgery at RNH Hong Kong from 1957 to 1960; promoted Surgeon-Commander in 1961 and later served in a surgical capacity at RNH Haslar, and aboard the aircraft carrier HMS Bulwark. He was appointed medical officer-in-charge of RNH Mauritius and senior specialist in surgery in 1964, returning to the United Kingdom in 1966. Thereafter, he served mainly in RNH Plymouth, at first as a general surgeon and later as a urologist. He was appointed consultant in surgery in 1970 and promoted Surgeon-Captain in December 1971. Apart from being an accomplished surgeon and pleasant colleague, Slater was also a skilled amateur photographer. He married on 22 June 1950 Geraldine O'Connor who survived him. There were no children. He died on 14 June 1972 from an astrocytoma and was buried in the naval reservation in Weston Mill Cemetery, Plymouth.

Duodenal diverticulum treated by excision of mucosal pouch only. Brit J Surg 1971, 58, 198.
A case of closed injury of the upper ureter. Brit J Urol 1971, 43, 591.

Sources used to compile this entry: [J Roy Nay Med Serv 1972, 58, 141].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England