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Biographical entry Harsant, Arnold Guy (1893 - 1977)

CB 1952; OBE 1935; MRCS 1916; FRCS 1930; DTM&H 1923; MB BS London 1930; MD 1932; MS 1933; LRCP 1916.

16 November 1893
8 April 1977
General surgeon and Military surgeon


Arnold Guy Harsant was born in London on 16 November 1893 and educated at St Paul's School, Kensington. He gained a scholarship to the London Hospital, qualified with the Conjoint Diploma in 1916, and that year was granted a regular commission in the RAMC. He served in the Salonika Campaign from 1916 to 1918 and was awarded the Order of St Sara. Subsequently he served in Mesopotamia (1920-2), India (1923-4), China (1927-9), and Egypt (1932-45). He was a brilliant young officer, taking the MB BS in 1930 and the FRCS the same year. In 1932 he proceeded MD and in 1933 MS. Capable and efficient in any branch of medicine, he decided to make surgery his military speciality and rose to the rank of Major-General. He set a very high standard and was dedicated to his work. In 1935 he was appointed OBE. In 1937 he was seconded to the appointment of Professor of Surgery, Egyptian University, and remained in Cairo until September 1945. He was awarded the Order of the Nile. In 1945 he was appointed consultant surgeon, British Army of the Rhine. He was a surgeon of marked ability and in 1949 was appointed director of surgery and consultant surgeon to the Army. That year also he became Honorary Surgeon to the King. In 1952 he was appointed CB, and he retired from the Army the following year. This was not the end of his association with surgery, for until his death he was employed as a limb-fitting surgeon to Queen Mary's Hospital, Roehampton.

As a person Guy was friendly, quiet in his manner, and always ready to give advice and help when it was needed. Many of his patients owe their lives to his skill, and he will be remembered by his corps for all he did to maintain its excellence in the art of surgery. In 1934 he married Mabel Sarah Bailey, they had one daughter. He died suddenly on 8 April 1977, at the age of 83.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times 13 April 1977; Brit med J 1977, 2, 51].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England