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Biographical entry Sampson, Noel John (1947 - 1978)

MRCS and FRCS 1975; MB BS Melbourne 1970; FRACS 1977.

1 January 1947
Launceston, Tasmania
14 January 1978
General surgeon


One of twin sons, Noel John Sampson was born on 1 January 1947, in Launceston, Tasmania. The family moved to Melbourne in 1953 when his father, Richard Sampson, joined the staff of The Herald and he received his early education at Strathmore High School and Melbourne High School. He entered the University of Melbourne to read medicine in 1965 and graduated in 1970 with first class honours in medicine and the Ryan Prize. He did his clinical work at St Vincent's Hospital and was appointed house physician to Professor David Penington and house surgeon to John Connell. He passed the Primary Fellowship in 1972 and, on the advice of Professor Richard Bennett, the Professor of Surgery at St Vincent's came to England to study for his Final FRCS.

In 1973, Noel worked as surgical registrar to Paul Smart at the Worcester Royal Infirmary and then spent two years with Corkery at the Birmingham Children's Hospital, passing his FRCS in 1975. He returned to Australia in 1976 and served for a while as assistant relieving officer at St Vincent's. He obtained his FRACS in 1977 and, in April of that year, left for Thailand to fulfil his lifelong ambition, becoming a medical missionary. He studied the Thai language and then hoped to work at the OMF Manoram Evangelical Hospital, north of Bangkok.

In 1971 he married Louise Steward, a young lady of great faith who had inspired and shared with Noel so many of his missionary ideals since his second year of medical school. Their only son, Benjamin was born in 1975 and Louise was expecting their second baby on 15 January 1978, but, the day before, the entire family were killed in a traffic accident. They and several other members of the hospital staff had been out for a picnic, as they were returning along a narrow road a truck overtaking some oncoming traffic struck them in a head-on collision.

He was survived by his parents and sister, Mrs Lynn Cracknell, his twin brother Richard having died tragically in 1973.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Christian Medical Fellowship April 1978; Med J Aust 1979, 1, 278].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England