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Biographical entry Manning, Charles William Stewart French (1918 - 1982)

MRCS 1942; FRCS 1950; LRCP 1942.

14 August 1918
13 July 1982
Orthopaedic surgeon


Charles Manning, the son of a dental surgeon, was born in Dublin on 14 August 1918. He came to England at the age of five, was educated at Sherborne School and went to St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College, qualifying in 1942. After serving as house surgeon to the ear, nose and throat and to the eye departments at Bart's, he joined the RAMC in 1943, serving as a Regimental Medical Officer in France, Holland and Germany. Following demobilization he was house surgeon to the orthopaedic department at the Victoria Hospital, Blackpool. After eighteen months as a casualty officer and general surgical registrar at Fulham Hospital, he returned to Blackpool as orthopaedic registrar and deputy resident medical officer and passed the Final FRCS in 1950.

In May 1951 he became orthopaedic registrar with Sydney Higgs, Jackson Burrows and Derek Coltart at Bart's before moving to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, first as registrar and then senior registrar. At this stage he was awarded a European travelling fellowship by the British Orthopaedic Association. During his training at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital he worked with Sir Herbert Seddon, John Cholmeley, David Trevor, Karl Nissen and Philip Newman, and was seconded to Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital, Mount Vernon and the Luton and Dunstable Hospitals. In 1958 he became consultant surgeon to the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, deputy Dean of the Institute of Orthopaedics, and deputy clinical director of the hospital, as well as part-time orthopaedic surgeon at Wembley Hospital. Subsequently he was appointed to the Chailey Heritage School and Hospital and, in 1964, to the orthopaedic staff at St Bartholomew's Hospital and the Royal Marsden.

Charles Manning was an excellent general orthopaedic surgeon with a special interest in the treatment of leg equalisation and scoliosis. The scoliosis unit at RNOH greatly expanded under his direction to achieve an international reputation. He was a member of council and honorary secretary of the Section of Orthopaedics at the Royal Society of Medicine. Later he served on the executive committee of the British Orthopaedic Association and was its honorary secretary in 1968-9, and vice-president in 1978. He also served on the board of the Journal of bone and joint surgery. He suffered a severe myocardial infarct in 1976 which shortly necessitated coronary by-pass surgery and resection of a ventricular aneurysm so that he then had to limit many of his commitments. However, he continued to serve on the Court of Examiners at the Royal College of Surgeons.

He is remembered as a man of integrity, principle and charm who had a lively interest in people. After early retirement he was a keen gardener and beekeeper in Hertfordshire and bred prize cattle for a short time. When he died suddenly on 13 July 1982 he was survived by his wife, herself a doctor, and by his three daughters, one of whom qualified in medicine at Bart's. A service of thanksgiving for his life and work was held at the Priory Church of St Bartholomew-the-Great, West Smithfield, on 8 September, 1982.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1982, 285, 660].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England