Browse Fellows


www Lives

Biographical entry Sworn, Basil Roy (1901 - 1968)

MRCS 1925; FRCS 1930; MB BS London 1926; LRCP 1925.

14 October 1901
25 April 1968
General surgeon


Basil Roy Sworn was born on 14 October 1901, and was educated at Epsom College and St Thomas's Hospital qualifying in 1925 with the Conjoint Diploma and graduating MB BS in 1926. He became first a clinical assistant in the skin department and the ear department at St Thomas's, later becoming a senior house surgeon at the Chester Royal Infirmary. After being admitted to the Fellowship in 1930 he was appointed a surgical registrar at St Thomas's in 1931, following this up by working as a demonstrator of anatomy and assistant in the venereal department in 1932. Seeing no future at St Thomas's he decided on a bold step, applied for and was appointed in 1933 consulting surgeon to the Staffordshire General Infirmary where he remained until his enforced retirement owing to ill health in 1966. He was also consulting surgeon to the Newport Cottage Hospital and a medical referee for the county court.

Sworn was a dexterous surgeon, neat and gentle, so not unnaturally he was the first surgeon in the Midlands to undertake the surgery of inter-vertebral disc protusion, as he was also the first to remove an islet cell tumour of the pancreas. Before thoracic units were widely established he undertook the surgery of the lung and of the oesophagus.

He published little, being by nature modest and retiring, but he inspired a universal respect and affection. The last two years, in which he was often in great pain, were spent in Teneriffe.

He married but had no children.

He died in St Mary's Hospital on 25 April 1968 aged 66.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1968, 2, 437].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England