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Biographical entry Burke, Jeremiah (1913 - 1981)

MRCS 1947; FRCS 1957; MB ChB NUI 1937; MCh 1950.

19 February 1913
Douglas, Cork
17 January 1981
General surgeon and Urological surgeon


Jeremiah Burke was born at Douglas, Cork, on 19 February 1913 the son of Jeremiah Burke, a farmer and his mother was Ellen O'Reagan, the daughter of a farmer. He was educated at Christian College, Cork, and at University College, Cork (National University of Ireland), where he gained the Hutchinson Stewart Scholarship in anatomy and a scholarship in physiology, in addition to other university scholarships. He graduated MB ChB with first class honours in 1937 and held resident posts at the Royal Hospital, Sheffield, and Paddington Hospital, London. In 1940 he joined the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve and served until 1946, with distinction in the Middle East, India, Ceylon and the Far East, reaching the rank of Surgeon Lieutenant-Commander.

Following demobilization Jeremiah Burke was appointed registrar and later senior surgical registrar to St James's Hospital, Balham, and clinical assistant to St Peter's Hospital for Stone. In 1953 he became consultant surgeon to St James's Hospital and just before retirement honorary senior lecturer to St George's Hospital Medical School. He was a full member of the British Association of Urological Surgeons and a member of the International Society of Urology. His main interest was urology, but he continued to carry out some general surgery so that he could teach good basic surgery to his registrars, housemen and students. His teaching was greatly appreciated and he also lectured in the courses for the FRCS.

Jerry Burke was a good clinical and technical surgeon and had no time for gimmicky surgery. He was outspoken, dogmatic, conservative, with a fine sense of humour. He was a keen walker, ornithologist, naturalist and historian, he liked sailing and hill climbing and enjoyed visiting Scotland, Italy and Spain. He never married. He died on 17 January 1981 just three years after his retirement.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1981, 282, 576].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England