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Biographical entry Gill, William Gordon (1908 - 1976)

MRCS 1932; FRCS 1934; MB BCh Cambridge 1934; MCh 1939; LRCP 1932.

3 January 1908
29 March 1976
General surgeon and Urologist


William Gordon Gill was born in Reigate on 3 January 1908. He was educated at Kingswood School, Seaford, and Marlborough College, from where he won an exhibition to Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. From Cambridge he went to Guy's Hospital where he qualified in 1932; becoming FRCS in 1934 and MCh in 1939. He was a surgical registrar at Guy's until the outbreak of war. From 1934 he had belonged to the RNVR and throughout the war served in the Royal Navy, for some time as surgeon and principal medical officer in the hospital ship, HMHS Vita in the Mediterranean and East Indies, and was mentioned in despatches, Commander-in-Chief Mediterranean in 1941.

When he was demobilized he went first to the Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford. Late in 1946 he was appointed consultant surgeon to the Royal Surrey County and St Luke's Hospitals at Guildford and served them for the rest of his professional life. In later years he was senior surgeon and urologist until his retirement in 1973. His surgical interests were wide and there were few procedures that he could not perform with precision and dexterity. An early interest in the now standard nylon darn repair of inguinal hernia led to a classic paper on the subject published with G E Maloney in 1949. He always had a particular interest in urology and confined his work to this speciality in the last ten years of his career.

Known to all and sundry as 'Father Gill' he loved teaching and did it very well. From his boyhood sailing was his greatest pleasure. He was a fine seaman with a special love of deep sea cruising and he prized his membership of the Royal Cruising Club. In 1975 he made a double Atlantic crossing with his old friend Dr Ronnie Andrews and at the time of his death he was planning the next summer's travels.

He married Aileen Vertue in 1949 who shared and supported his interests and her death in 1970 was a terrible blow to him. They had one son, who qualified in medicine, and a daughter. He had a myocardial infarct in December 1975 and died suddenly, presumably from a further infarct, on 29 March 1976.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1976, 1, 1022 and 1079].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England