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Biographical entry Wyndham, Norman Richard (1907 - 1981)

OBE 1970; MRCS and FRCS 1935; MS Sydney 1937; MD 1938; FRACS 1937.

11 August 1907
Forbes, Australia
29 May 1981
General surgeon


Born in Forbes on 11 August 1907, Norman Richard Wyndham lost his mother when only a year old. A sick child, he was reared by his aunt who was later his stepmother. A serious and studious boy he won an exhibition in medicine to the University of Sydney and with unswerving devotion to his profession became one of Australia's leading surgeons in the post-war years.

He graduated in 1931 with the prize for clinical medicine and became a resident at the Royal Prince Alfred and later Prince Henry Hospitals. Obtaining his Primary FRCS in Australia he travelled to England as ship's doctor and obtained his Final FRCS in the same year.

Back in Sydney in 1936 he became an honorary assistant surgeon to the Royal Prince Alfred and personal assistant to Sir Hugh Poate. He served in the second world war in the Middle East, Papua and back home at the Concord Hospital and after the war was consultant at the Royal Prince Alfred, Ryde Gosford, Western Suburbs and Concord. He still found time to teach anatomy and embryology at the University until 1972.

Wyndham was fluent in languages; French, German, Italian and Spanish. He learnt Vietnamese when he took a surgical team there in 1967. He was a devout Christian, always proper in his manner and somewhat aloof, he could however relax and loved to sing German lieder in a good baritone voice. He died on 29 May 1981, survived by his devoted wife, Mary, and their family.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Med J Aust 1982, 2, 352].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England