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Biographical entry Ward, Ronald Ogier (1886 - 1971)

DSO 1919; MC 1918; OBE 1940; MS 1918; MRCS 1912; FRCS 1919; MB BCh Oxford 1913; MCh Oxford 1919; LRCP 1912; Hon DSc Leeds.

6 March 1886
4 April 1971
Urological surgeon


Ronald Ogier Ward was born on 6 March 1886, the son of a general practitioner, Dr Allan Ogier Ward, and was educated at Magdalen College School, Queen's College, Oxford, and at St Bartholomew's Hospital, where he qualified in 1912 and took his Oxford degree in 1913.

He was most distinguished, both as a soldier and as a surgeon. In the Balkan war of 1912-13 he served with the British Red Cross, but in the first world war he was a combatant soldier. He was a Major in the Honourable Artillery Company, and commanded C Battery of the 293rd Army Brigade, Royal Field Artillery. It was this battery which saved a break through the British line in the retreat of March 1918. For his outstanding service in this war he was awarded the DSO and MC.

Returning to London he was appointed chief assistant to George Gask, first Professor of Surgery to the Medical College of St Bartholomew's, but soon decided to specialise in urology. He was appointed to the staff of St Peter's Hospital for Stone and urologist to the Miller and Royal Masonic Hospitals. Between the wars he built up a large and successful practice and became one of the leaders in urological surgery. He was elected President of the Urological Section of the Royal Society of Medicine in 1935. On the outbreak of war in 1939, he again volunteered for service with the army and was in charge of a surgical division with the British Expeditionary Force in France. For his distinguished service then, and at the time of the evacuation in 1940, he was awarded the OBE. He later served in Egypt and became consulting surgeon to the Army in East Africa.

He returned to England in 1944, and resumed civilian practice. He was the prime mover in the foundation of the British Association of Urological Surgeons of which he was the first President. He was Chairman of the Editorial Committee of the British journal of urology when it was reconstituted after the war.

He was a careful and competent surgeon who achieved very good results. He was meticulous in his attention to detail and in his care of the patient. He was always eager to improve on the old. He had an enquiring and inventive mind and did much original work not only in the development of urology, but also in the introduction and improvement of the instruments and paraphernalia of surgery. He wrote extensively and contributed the section in urology to Modern operative surgery edited by Grey Turner. By these writings and his teaching, he did much to consolidate urology as a specialty.

He had a serious illness in 1950, but survived this and returned to practice for some years. On retirement he became greatly interested in painting and spent many happy hours indulging in this pastime at his delightful cottage near Seaford. For many years he remained an interesting and intellectual companion, always interested in old friends and he retained a pleasant dry humour.

He died after a long illness on 4 April 1971, and was survived by his wife and two sons.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1971, 2, 283; Lancet 1971, 1, 868].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England