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Biographical entry Ticehurst, Norman Frederic (1873 - 1969)

OBE 1920; MRCS 1901; FRCS 1902; BCh Cambridge 1901; MB 1903; LRCP 1901.

1 July 1873
St Leonards-on-Sea
5 December 1969
General practitioner and General surgeon


Norman Frederic Ticehurst was born at St Leonards-on-Sea on 1 July 1873, his father and grandfather having been doctors in Hastings. He was educated at Tonbridge School, Clare College Cambridge, and Guy's Hospital Medical School, qualifying with the Conjoint Diploma in 1901. In 1902 he took the FRCS and completed his Cambridge degree in 1903. At Guy's he was house surgeon to Jacobson, and in 1903 he joined his father in general practice and the following year was appointed to the surgical staff of the Royal East Sussex Hospital. In 1907 Norman's father retired and his brother Gerald replaced him.

During the first world war Ticehurst took charge of the Normanhurst Military Hospital, Battle, where he served from 1915-1919 and was awarded the OBE in 1920. He was the best type of GP surgeon, a shrewd clinician and a skilful operator. Though undertaking general surgery he had a special flair for orthopaedics, and was consultant to the Shaftesbury Home for Crippled Children. He retired from hospital practice in 1938, but on the outbreak of the second world war returned to his surgical and orthopaedic practice, dealing with numerous air-raid casualties. He finally retired in 1949 and went to live at Smallhythe.

Ticehurst was remarkably dextrous, and his chief hobby was carpentry and cabinet-making, but he established an outstanding reputation as an ornithologist as joint author of the Handbook of British birds and author of A history of the birds of Kent. He was also an authority on the archaeological aspects of swan keeping. In 1913 he married Ivy Cross and they had a daughter and two sons, one of whom followed in his father's footsteps to Guy's, and to the surgical staff of the Royal East Sussex Hospital. He died on 5 December 1969 at the age of 96.

A history of the birds of Kent. 1909.
A handbook of British birds, with H F Witherby and F C R Jourdain.
The mute swan in England. 1957.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1970, 1, 53].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England