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Biographical entry Keene, Reginald (1897 - 1975)

MRCS 1923; FRCS 1932; MB BS London 1924; LRCP 1923.

11 September 1897
5 January 1975
ENT surgeon, General practitioner and General surgeon


Reginald Keene was born in Islington, London, on 11 September 1897, the son of a chief administrative officer of the LCC Mental Hospitals' Department, and used to visit Oulton Broad on holiday as a child. A foundation scholar of Highgate Grammar School, he passed his first MB in 1915 but shortly afterwards volunteered for the Army and was sent to France as a platoon commander in the 13th Middlesex Regiment with the rank of Lieutenant. He spent some time at the front, until August 1918, but was then ordered home to complete his medical training. He qualified from St Bartholomew's Hospital in 1924 and in 1925 joined Dr James Taylor in Lowestoft in general practice. He was appointed surgeon to the ENT department at Lowestoft Hospital in 1927, took the FRCS in 1932, and continued to practise as a general practitioner-surgeon until 1963. During the second world war he was working as an EMS surgeon at Bodmin.

For many years he devoted himself to local government affairs and became a senior alderman and in turn deputy mayor and chairman of various committees. A keen angler, (he caught a salmon weighing 54 1/4 lbs in Norway), and gardener, he was president of the local piscatorial and dahlia societies. He had a dahlia named after him. He was also foundation member of the Lowestoft Rotary Club and a past-captain of the local golf club. On his retirement in 1970, after 45 years in general practice, a large number of patients gathered to pay him tribute, and he was long remembered as a kind, extremely capable general practitioner and surgeon. He was a member of Council of the BMA in 1938-9 and for many years served as honorary secretary of the North Suffolk Division.

He married Edith Winifred Davies in 1926 and she predeceased him. They had one son and one daughter who is a doctor and married to a general practitioner. He died on 5 January 1975, aged 77 years.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1975, 1, 462].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England