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Biographical entry Partridge, Anthony Jon (1920 - 1982)

MRCS 1942; FRCS 1950; DRCOG 1945; LRCP 1942.

8 February 1920
27 December 1982
General surgeon and Orthopaedic surgeon


Anthony Partridge was born on 8 February 1920, in London, the son of Walter Partridge, a dental surgeon, and Evelyn Edgar. After education at Framlingham College, Suffolk, he entered Charing Cross Hospital where he qualified and held appointments as house surgeon in general surgery, and as house surgeon in obstetrics and gynaecology. He was rejected for military service in the second world war and demonstrated anatomy at University College, London, where he took the Primary FRCS and the DRCOG before entering general practice at Shoreham, Sussex, in 1944. He completed the Final FRCS in 1948 but continued in general practice until 1962 as a most popular and industrious family doctor. As port medical officer he also served the Shoreham lifeboat with notable dedication for 35 years.

His yearning for surgery, first fulfilled as a clinical assistant, led on to part-time work in the orthopaedic department of the district hospital where he became especially interested in the care of the elderly. He became skilful in the management of fractured and arthritic hips and showed considerable ingenuity in developing plastic cerclage straps which, together with intramedullary nails or nylon plates, proved invaluable in treating fractures of the osteoporotic femoral shaft. In general practice he developed a new catheter and was astonished to hear later that over a million of these had been sold. Having previously published no medical papers he began to write about his orthopaedic innovations and soon became much in demand as a visiting lecturer and as an advisor in the treatment of difficult fractures.

A naturally friendly and gregarious person he greatly enjoyed many voyages on the Cunard Line as a locum ship's surgeon. He was also a keen dinghy sailor. Of staunchly individualist character he was a founder member of Lord Horder's Fellowship for Freedom of Medicine. Notwithstanding his strong dislike of bureaucracy and of many features of the NHS he gave devoted service to each one of his patients. As a result of powerful and much deserved support from senior members of the British Orthopaedic Association, he received ultimate recognition from the regional health authority as an honorary consultant orthopaedic surgeon within a month of his sudden death from myocardial infarction on 27 December 1982. He is survived by his wife Francesca (née Brock, whom he married in 1944), and by two sons and a daughter.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1982, 284, 280].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England