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Biographical entry Marks, Dudley Proctor (1899 - 1980)

MRCS 1924; FRCS 1926; MB ChB Cambridge 1924; LRCP 1924.

3 April 1899
19 June 1980
General practitioner, General surgeon and Medical Officer


Dudley Marks was born on 3 April, 1899 at Peckham Rye, and was educated at Haberdasher's Aske's School from whence he secured a scholarship to Cambridge. With the outbreak of the first world war he joined the Queen's Own Regiment on his 18th birthday in 1917. In the following year he suffered severe head injuries and was fortunate to survive. In 1919 he resumed his medical studies at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, and then at St Thomas's Hospital, qualifying from there in 1924 and taking the FRCS in 1926. He then went to work in a Protestant mission at Travancore where he met Dorothy, also a medical missionary, who later became his wife.

In 1928 Dudley returned to a surgical post at St Thomas's Hospital and was awarded a travelling surgical scholarship to study ear, nose and throat surgery in Vienna and Utrecht. He moved to Stratford-upon-Avon to join a group practice in 1932 where he soon established himself as a popular general practitioner and a skilful surgeon. During the second world war the local hospital was substantially enlarged to deal with air-raid casualties from Coventry, and he became heavily committed to hospital work. He was faced with a somewhat difficult decision on the inception of the NHS: in what proved to be a happy compromise he was appointed consultant surgeon at the Stratford- upon-Avon General Hospital, but he remained a partner in his old practice so that he could continue to look after some private patients. Until his retirement in 1964 nearly all of his time was devoted to general surgery and to the administration of the hospital which he loved. After retirement from the NHS he was appointed chief medical officer to the National Farmers' Union Mutual Insurance Company for five years.

Dudley Marks was deeply committed to the support of the work of his local church at Luddington. His patients, partners and colleagues remember him with affection for his kindness, loyalty and complete dedication to his work. He was the last of Stratford's distinguished GP surgeons. When he died on 19 June, 1980, he was survived by his wife, Dorothy, and daughter, Daphne.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1980, 281, 689].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England