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Biographical entry Sleight, Malcolm Westmoreland (1932 - 1981)

OBE 1980; MRCS and FRCS 1962; MB Cambridge 1956; MA MCh 1966; DRCOG 1957.

7 July 1932
27 March 1981
Military surgeon and Urologist


Group Captain Malcolm Westmoreland Sleight was a distinguished urologist in the Royal Air Force and was the Royal College of Surgeons' Cade Professor of Surgery to the RAF. He died suddenly on 27 March 1981 at the age of 48.

Born on 7 July 1932 in Leeds, the second son of a civil engineer (Chief Assistant Planning Officer, Leeds) the first son becoming a cardiologist at Oxford, he was educated at Ilkley and Leeds Grammar Schools before studying medicine at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and at St Bartholomew's Hospital. After house posts at Bart's where he worked with and was influenced by Sir Clifford Naunton Morgan, and at the Metropolitan Hospital, he entered the RAF in 1958 on a short service commission, taking a permanent commission in 1959.

His contribution to surgery was recognised by his work in and valuable contributions to urology, and by the way he shouldered, at short notice, the onerous and extra responsibility of running the RAF Cade oncology unit. For this, amongst other things, he was awarded the OBE in 1980, the year in which he became Cade Professor. He was active in research into the surgical anatomy of the kidney and into the use of anticoagulants in prostate surgery. He was a member of the British Association of Urological Surgeons.

He married Ann Pritchard in 1958. Her mother was one of the first nursing sisters to work in the battle areas of the first world war.

In addition to his interest in rugby and swimming he devoted time to charitable and church affairs and was a churchwarden. After his untimely death it was said 'Can there be a better epitaph for this singular man than that his family adored him, professional colleagues admired him and his friends loved him'.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1981, 282, 1328 and 1833].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England