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Biographical entry Grattan, Edmund O'Donnell Colley (1910 - 1985)

MRCS 1934; FRCS 1936; BA Cambridge 1931; MB BCh 1934; LRCP 1934.

2 February 1910
7 December 1985
General surgeon


Edmund O'Donnell Colley Grattan, the son of Colley Edmund George Grattan, a barrister, was born on 2 February 1910 at Bournemouth. His mother Winifred Katharine Wyndham Barnard was the daughter of Sir Herbert Barnard, a banker, whilst his father's side of the family was descended from Henry Grattan, an Irish patriot and parliamentarian.

After education at the Old Ride Preparatory School, Bournemouth, and at Wellington College. Edward Grattan went to King's College, Cambridge, before entering St Thomas's Hospital. On qualifying in 1934 he became house surgeon and casualty officer at St Thomas's and took the final FRCS in 1936. He joined the Sudan Medical Service from 1937 to 1947 and then became surgical specialist in the Kenya Medical Service from 1947 to 1963 where he became a Fellow of the Association of Surgeons of East Africa. After returning to England he became principal scientific officer at the Road Research Laboratory in 1964, remaining there until his retirement in 1978. He developed a keen interest in road traffic accidents and seat belt injuries on which he published a number of papers. He was noted for his courteous manner, his stimulating conversation, and for his lively correspondence in the national press on South Africa and individual freedom which, doubtless, stemmed from his significant Irish roots. He had also been a member of the transport committee of the Medical Commission on Accident Prevention. When he died on 7 December 1985 he was survived by his wife; by two sons, one of whom is a doctor, and two daughters, of whom one is a nurse.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1985, 292, 210; Daily Telegraph 31 December 1985].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England