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Biographical entry Scholefield, Bernard Graham (1899 - 1976)

MRCS and FRCS 1928; MB, BCh Oxford 1924; DM 1927; MCh 1931.

7 May 1899
18 June 1976
General practitioner and General surgeon


Bernard Graham Scholefield was born at Blackheath on 7 May 1899, the only son of Robert Ernest Scholefield, a general practitioner who had held a Radcliffe Travelling Fellowship from Oxford. His mother, Elizabeth Graham (née Marshall), was daughter of a former Vicar of Blackheath and Canon of Rochester. After early education at Stratheden Preparatory School, Blackheath, and a King's Scholarship at Westminster School, Bernard went to Christ Church College, Oxford, and was then a War Memorial Scholar at Guy's Hospital.

After house surgeon appointments at Guy's he secured a Commonwealth Fund Travelling Fellowship to Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore, and Peter Bent Brigham Hospital, Boston, where he worked with Harvey Cushing. On returning to England he spent two years as an anatomy demonstrator and three years as surgical registrar and tutor during which period he became DM, FRCS and MCh.

In 1932 he was appointed honorary surgeon to the Hereford General Hospital with a partnership in general practice for the next ten years. He retired from general practice in 1942 to confine himself to general surgery at the Hereford General and the County Hospital. During the second world war he was commandant of the wartime Emergency Medical Service for the county and initiated its pathology and blood transfusion services. He returned to Guy's during the London blitz to help with the surgery.

After the war, Scholefield became chairman of the regional consultants committee for Birmingham, 1953-56, and chairman of the Midland Surgical Society in 1954. He was divisional surgeon in the St John Ambulance Brigade and served as county surgeon for many years.

In his youth Bernard Scholefield was a first class rugby footballer, he won a blue at Oxford and later played for Kent and the London Counties and served as an England reserve. He retired in 1964 and is remembered for his surgical skill and even more for the devoted care and kindness which earned him the affection and confidence of his patients. He had a great love for Hereford Cathedral and was a sincere churchman. He married in 1928 and had three children, a son who qualified from Guy's, and two daughters, one of whom was a Guy's nurse and married to a Guy's doctor. When he died at his home in Hereford on 18 June 1976 he was survived by his wife and children.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1976, 2, 372].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England