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Biographical entry Talbot, John Edmund (1912 - 1982)

MRCS 1937; FRCS 1948; LRCP 1937.

12 August 1912
31 August 1982
General surgeon


John Talbot was a popular and highly regarded graduate of St Mary's Hospital Medical School and surgeon at Harold Wood Hospital. Born on 12 August 1912 in Wales, he was educated at Llandovery College. Like others at Mary's he had played rugby as a schoolboy for Wales. He was in the legendary pre-second world war St Mary's XV. He was capped for Middlesex and had a trial for Ireland.

Becoming a GP in 1938 he joined the Territorial Army and served throughout the second world war, first in a surgical unit in the Middle East and then in command of a field surgical unit in Normandy, where he was mentioned in despatches. After becoming FRCS in 1948 he was appointed consultant surgeon to Harold Wood Hospital. Here his sterling qualities as a man and a surgeon bore fruit. He was largely responsible for the transformation of Harold Wood Hospital into a district general hospital and a hospital with a teaching and academic unit - one of the first of its kind.

His work as a surgeon and his contribution to surgery was equally meritorious, particularly in gastroenterology and in the surgery of ulcerative colitis. He was for a time President of the London division of the Ileostomy Society of Great Britain and he was also President of the Proctology Section of the Royal Society of Medicine. He was visiting professor to Baghdad, Mosul and Basrah Universities in Iraq. Continuing his interest in sport he represented the Medics Golfing Society and the BMA in England and America.

He died on 31 August 1982, survived by his wife Joan and their children and grandchildren, 'a much loved father and grandfather'.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1983, 286, 229; The Times 3 September 1982].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England