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Biographical entry Addison, John Raymond (1916 - 1979)

MRCS and FRCS 1947; MB ChB Otago 1940.

Sydney, Australia
Orthopaedic surgeon and Trauma surgeon


John Raymond Addison was born in Sydney, Australia, in 1916 and educated at Christ's College, Christchurch, New Zealand. He studied medicine at Dunedin and graduated from Otago University in 1940. He joined the medical service of the New Zealand Navy in 1941 and saw active service in the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans. He was serving in HMS Leander when the cruiser was badly damaged in a torpedo attack in the Pacific Ocean.

In 1945 he returned to his old medical school where he developed an interest in orthopaedics and in 1947 he came to England to widen his experience in his chosen speciality. Within a few months of arrival here he passed the final examination for the FRCS. He held the post of resident surgical officer at the Royal Hospital in Wolverhampton and later joined the junior staff of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital. This was followed by appointment as senior registrar in the orthopaedic department of Guy's Hospital where he was influenced greatly by JS Batchelor with whom he developed a lasting friendship.

In 1952 he was appointed consultant in traumatic and orthopaedic surgery to the Worthing and Chichester group of hospitals, which was a newly created post. Here with enormous energy and drive he organised an extremely efficient service throughout this wide area. At Guy's Hospital he developed an interest in problems concerning the hip joint, which continued throughout his career. He was one of the earliest surgeons to perform immediate prosthetic replacement for fracture of the neck of the femur in the elderly and presented his experience in a paper delivered to the Royal Society of Medicine in 1959. His experience of total hip replacement was extensive and he developed a non-dislocatable prosthesis for use in the very elderly. He was a superb technician who demanded high surgical discipline from himself and his colleagues who worked with him. He enjoyed teaching his junior colleagues so that many young surgeons profited greatly from his practical outlook and wide experience. Unfortunately he wrote very little. He was a Fellow of the British Orthopaedic Association, served on the council of the Orthopaedic Section of the Royal Society of Medicine, later becoming its honorary secretary and he was a founder member of the Arbuthnot Lane Orthopaedic Society.

John Addison, somewhat shy, with an acute sense of humour, had a lasting loyalty to the country of his adoption. He was a great rugby enthusiast, taking up golf later, he read widely and travelled extensively. He was devoted to his wife Geraldine and three children, one of whom entered orthopaedics.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1980, 1, 57-58, 191].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England