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Biographical entry Morgan, Oswald Gayer (1889 - 1981)

MRCS 1913; FRCS 1920; MA Cambridge 1919; BCh 1919 MCh 1920; LRCP 1913.

5 July 1889
Seaford, Sussex
11 August 1981


Oswald Gayer Morgan was born in Seaford, Sussex, on 5 July 1889, the eldest son of William Pringle Morgan and Ethel, née Eastwood. He was educated at Epsom College, Clare College, Cambridge, and Guy's Hospital Medical School, qualifying with the Conjoint Diploma in 1913. A year later he went to France as surgeon in charge of the Duchess of Sutherland's Private Hospital with the rank of Captain in the RAMC. He was taken prisoner in 1918 and showed his courage by escaping from prison at risk to himself. On demobilization he returned to Cambridge taking the BCh in 1919 and the MCh in 1920 together with the FRCS. He trained in ophthalmology at Moorfields Eye Hospital, being influenced by Sir Herbert Parsons, Malcolm Hepburn, and Affleck Greeves. He was then appointed consultant ophthalmologist to Guy's Hospital where he remained for the rest of his career.

Apart from his large consulting practice and his teaching he was much in demand as a chairman of committees for he had great flair in the management of people. He was Chairman of the Ophthalmic Group Committee of the British Medical Association for twenty-four years, was Vice-Chairman of the National Ophthalmic Treatment Board Association for almost thirty years and Chairman of its Appointments Sub-Committee. He was also a member of the General Optical Council, a Vice President of the British Medical Association and a Past President of the Ophthalmological Society of the United Kingdom. In 1958 he was distinguished by being the Doyne Memorial Lecturer at the Oxford Ophthalmological Congress.

Known to his friends as Gayer, he became the doyen of the ophthalmic profession in the United Kingdom after the death of Sir Steward Duke-Elder. Possessed with a melodious voice, a handsome presence and genial good humour he had lasting friendships with colleagues all over Great Britain.

In private life he had many non-medical interests including butterfly collecting, gardening and a deep knowledge of music. He married Jessie Macdonald who died in 1938, but he was survived by his two daughters. He died on 11 August 1981, aged 92.

Sir Barry Jackson

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1981, 283, 738-739; The Times 14 August, 1981].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England