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Biographical entry Crymble, Percival Templeton (1880 - 1970)

MRCS 1908; FRCS 1908; MB, BCh Belfast 1904; LRCP 1908.

21 March 1880
28 June 1970
Anatomist and General surgeon


Percival Templeton Crymble was born on 21 March 1880 and graduated at the Royal University of Ireland in 1904. After acting as demonstrator of anatomy in Belfast he took his Fellowship in 1908 and then studied in London and Vienna. When he returned to Ireland in 1910 he was appointed assistant surgeon to the Royal Victoria Hospital and surgeon to outpatients in the Belfast Hospital for Sick Children. A year later he was also made demonstrator of applied anatomy and later became lecturer in the same subject. During these years he wrote a chapter in Quain's Anatomy (11th edition) on the peritoneum which for many years remained the most detailed account of this cavity.

In 1915 he joined the RAMC and was stationed at Etaples in charge of beds and an X-ray unit. In 1916 he was recalled from France owing to the sudden illness of Professor Symington, and again he took charge of the Anatomy Department at Belfast. Crymble then decided to become a full-time surgeon, though he retained his interest in anatomy throughout his long life. In 1933 he was appointed to the chair of surgery, and for the next fourteen years he devoted himself to the teaching and practice of general surgery until his retirement under the age rule. Professor Walmsley then asked him to lecture on X-ray anatomy, which kept him happily occupied until 1968.

In addition to his work Crymble was able to relax on the golf course and in his enjoyment of music both of which helped him to pass many happy hours after he had given up his hospital connections. He greatly appreciated the many congratulations he received from his colleagues and friends on his 90th birthday. Three months later he died quietly at his home in Belfast on 28 June 1970 and was survived by his wife, a son and two daughters.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1970, 4, 371].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England