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Biographical entry Hawe, Philip Reginald (1900 - 1985)

TD; MRCS 1922; FRCS 1926; MB ChB Liverpool 1922; ChM 1928; LRCP 1922.

Callan, County Kilkenny, Ireland
15 April 1985
General surgeon


Philip Reginald Hawe was born at Callan, Co Kilkenny, Eire, in 1900. The family moved to Liverpool in 1905 and as a result he was educated there at the Catholic Institute in Hope Street. In his senior year he was awarded the Robert Gee Scholarship in medicine and the John Rankin Scholarship in engineering. He entered the medical school at Liverpool in 1917 and graduated in 1922. In 1923 he was awarded the John Rankin Scholarship in anatomy. Resident posts were held in the David Lewis Northern Hospital and at Liverpool Royal Infirmary. He became a Fellow of the College in 1926 and obtained his mastership in surgery at Liverpool in 1928. Senior appointments included assistant surgeon to Birkenhead Children's Hospital, Bootle General Hospital, Ormskirk Cottage Hospital, Garston Cottage Hospital and the Royal Liverpool Children's Hospital. In the pre-war period he was appointed an assistant surgeon to the David Lewis Northern Hospital where he worked for the remainder of his professional life. His wife, Monica, who died two years before him, was his companion throughout his professional life and shared his pride in their three sons (Anthony, Brian and John), all of whom qualified in medicine. Anthony Hawes, is also a Fellow of the College. A son, Desmond predeceased him.

Having served in the Territorial Army before the war, as a Captain, he was called up in 1939 and saw service as a Major in Iraq, India and Burma and reached the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. After the war he returned to civilian practice but maintained his connection with the Territorial Army, commanding the 8th Liverpool General Hospital of the Royal Army Medical Corps with the rank of Colonel. For his service he was awarded the TD.

Return to civilian practice was associated with a rapidly increasing reputation both as a surgeon and as a teacher. He was appointed a clinical lecturer in surgery at Liverpool University and served for many years on the faculty board. In 1960 he was President of the Liverpool Medical Institution, and for many years he was an active member of the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland, a member of the International Surgical Society, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine. His principal interest surgically was in the anatomy and pathology of the neck and in particular in the thyroid gland and its diseases. Early in his career he had visited the Lahey Clinic in Boston, USA. He set up a thyroid clinic at the David Lewis Northern Hospital staffed by a physician and a specialist in nuclear medicine as well as himself bringing the expertise of a dedicated thyroid surgeon. He set himself, and all who worked with him the highest possible standards and treated all with kindness and understanding. One of his major contributions was in the management of Graves' disease in pregnancy. Coming from an Irish Catholic family, religion was central to his home life, professional life and practice. In a city where one third of the population shared his faith his advice was sought continually. He was a past master of the Guild of SS Luke, Cosmas and Damian and in 1966 he was awarded the knighthood of St Gregory the Great by Pope Paul VI.

A quiet, modest and humorous man, he was long remembered by his colleagues as a model consultant and friend. He died on 15 April 1985 after a short illness.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1985, 291, 62-3 with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England