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Biographical entry Edwards, Frederick Ronald (1910 - 1983)

MRCS 1932; FRCS 1934; MB ChB Liverpool 1932; ChM 1935; MD 1938; LRCP 1932.

14 April 1910
20 April 1983
Paediatric surgeon and Thoracic surgeon


Frederick Ronald Edwards was born in Chester on 14 April 1910. He graduated with honours at the University of Liverpool in 1932, won the Samuels Memorial Scholarship in surgery, obtained the FRCS in 1934, the ChM in 1935 and the MD in 1938. His surgical training was in Wigan and Liverpool and he was influenced by Morriston Davies to enter thoracic surgery, working with Davies in the Merseyside regional thoracic service set up during the second world war, afterwards located at Broad Green Hospital. Later, with Professor J D Hay he founded and developed paediatric cardiac surgery at the Royal Liverpool Children's Hospital. He was lecturer and then director of studies in thoracic surgery in the University of Liverpool Medical School. He was twice Hunterian Professor RCS, in 1939 and 1944. He was President of the Liverpool Medical Institution in 1968, of the Society of Thoracic and Cardiovascular Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland in 1972 and of the Thoracic Society in 1967. He was at one time Chairman of the University Board of Clinical Studies and of the eastern district of the Liverpool Health Authority (Teaching).

He made many contributions to surgical literature including his book Foundations of thoracic surgery. He had the reputation of being a master surgeon, dexterous, expeditious, dignified and quiet, an expert in the surgery of pulmonary tuberculosis, bronchiectasis, carcinoma of the bronchus and of the oesophagus, in mitral valve and congenital heart disease. He was loved and respected by all with whom he had contact and he always seemed to manage to give those with whom he worked a sense of being an important part of the team. His cheery "Thank you all" as he left the theatre was much appreciated by medical and nursing staff alike.

He had a special fondness for Clwyd, North Wales, to which he retired in 1975. His wife, Joan, was also a medical graduate. They had four daughters and three sons, one becoming a surgeon and another a pathologist. With great fortitude he bore a long and painful illness and died 20 April 1983.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1983, 286, 1759 with portrait, 2067; Lancet 1983, 1, 1172 with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England