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Biographical entry Wallace, Doris Barbara ( - 1972)

MRCS 1932; FRCS 1935; MB ChB Leeds 1932; BSc Leeds 1929; MD 1938; LRCP 1932; MRCOG 1938.

11 June 1972
Obstetrician and gynaecologist


Doris Barbara Wallace (née Brown) was the daughter of Mr David G Brown, a draper in Harrogate. She went to school in Harrogate and proceeded to the University of Leeds where she qualified with the Conjoint Diploma and also graduated MB ChB in 1932. In her preliminary science course she obtained the BSc with 1st Class Honours. After junior posts at the Leeds General Infirmary she was house surgeon at the Hospital for Women in Leeds, and after some further clinical experience in London she obtained the FRCS in 1935.

In 1936 she decided to specialize in obstetrics and gynaecology and was appointed tutor in obstetrics at Queen's University, Belfast, and in 1938 took the MRCOG. In 1939 she went to India and became Medical Officer in the Lady Hardinge Medical College. This was situated on the route of the expected Japanese invasion of India, and all female personnel were compulsorily evacuated, but Miss Brown was asked to stay on, was officially registered as a man and given jungle equipment and training. She ran the hospital without any skilled assistance, and at one point an English officer named Reginald Wallace, brought in a group of exhausted British soldiers who had escaped from a prisoner-of-war camp. She operated on the officer, and afterwards, in 1944, married him in Calcutta. Her husband later became Secretary to the Governor of the Gold Coast.

Mrs Wallace returned to England, her husband entering the Foreign Office, but she did very little medical work apart from assisting her elder sister for a time who was also a gynaecologist. In 1955, while in Switzerland, she suffered a severe stroke but recovered after a long illness. She died on 11 June 1972 and her husband and their daughter Elizabeth survived her.

The Royal College of Surgeons of England