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Biographical entry Shute, Kenneth (1945 - 2014)

MB BS London 1968; FRCS 1972; MS 1978.

22 December 1945
Pontypool, Gwent
15 October 2014
Newport, Gwent
General surgeon and Vascular surgeon


Kenneth Shute was a much-loved surgeon who devoted his career to providing high quality surgical services to the population of Newport, Gwent. A Welshman through and through with a big heart, a Welsh accent, a big personality and an infectious grin, he was adored by the local population, many of whom wrote moving tributes after his untimely death.

Ken was born and schooled in Pontypool, a city he loved and for whom he played rugby for many years. In 1963 he left his beloved Wales for London and St Thomas's Hospital Medical School, from where he graduated in 1968. House appointments were in Plymouth and Gloucester, but he then returned to his alma mater as an anatomy demonstrator before passing the primary FRCS. Jobs in Reading and Hammersmith followed, but after obtaining the final FRCS in 1972 he became a rotating registrar at St Thomas' and was especially influenced by John Pullan and Norman Browse, gaining much experience of peripheral vascular surgery. A lectureship at St Thomas' followed when he pursued animal research into the effects of intraluminal oxygen on ischaemia of the small intestine, work which was successfully submitted for the degree of MS in 1978. Several papers also emanated from this experimental study. In the same year he was appointed senior registrar to the Nottingham and Derby Teaching Hospitals, gaining special experience in breast disorders, endocrine disease and gastroenterology. In 1981 he was appointed consultant general and vascular surgeon to the Royal Gwent Hospital, from where he retired at the age of 65.

A skilled rugby player in his youth, hooker for Pontypool Rugby Football Club and later a patron of the club, he also played squash to a high standard until a knee problem led to his exchanging the squash court for the boxing ring at the surprisingly advanced age of 56. He loved his new sport at the St Joseph's Boxing Club and was strongly opposed to the BMA's call for the sport to be banned. There can be very few surgeons who have made such a transition in their sporting activities at such an advanced age!

Married with two children, Dan and Zanna, he suffered a stroke at the age of 68 and died in the Royal Gwent Hospital a few days later. Many glowing tributes to him were published in the local newspaper, The South Wales Argus.

Sir Barry Jackson

Sources used to compile this entry: [The South Wales Argus 20 October 2014 - accessed 20 April 2015; personal knowledge].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England