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Biographical entry King, Cyril Arnold (1895 - 1983)

MRCS and FRCS 1924; BSc Otago 1916; MB BS 1920; FRACS 1933.

Oamaru, New Zealand
23 March 1983
General practitioner and General surgeon


Cyril Arnold King was born in Oamaru, New Zealand. He had a very distinguished school career, winning a university scholarship in 1912. In the same year he won the Lord Meath Empire Day Cup for an essay, fostering imperial patriotism, open to all secondary school students in the Empire. Making the presentation of the cup Sir Joseph Ward, premier, referred to the efforts made by these Waitaki students.

King gained a BSc in chemistry and geology at Otago University. He declined a lectureship in the University in geology and proceeded to the medical school, graduating in 1920 when he was awarded the medical travelling scholarship for the year. He held junior appointments in the Christchurch Hospital and then went to London to study at the Royal Northern, the Middlesex and the Royal Masonic hospitals. Here he was influenced by Barrington Ward, Kenneth Walker, Webb-Johnson, Gordon-Taylor and Victor Bonney. He gained the FRCS in 1924.

Returning to New Zealand he went into surgical practice with Hunter Will in Palmerston North. Unfortunately he developed an incapacitating allergy which forced him to retire from the visiting staff of the Palmerston North Hospital in 1950. He continued in general practice and in 1962 went to live in Taupo where he resumed general practice from his lovely home by the lake until his death. In 1933 he became FRACS.

Late in 1982 an inoperable carcinoma of the pancreas was confirmed, a decision he accepted with great fortitude, returning to Middlemore for palliative surgery one month before he died. He died on 23 March 1983 in his 89th year.

He was survived by his wife Margaret and three children Robin, Dennis who became an orthopaedic surgeon in Auckland and Christopher who is a lecturer in mathematics.

Sources used to compile this entry: [NZ med J 1983, 96, 356].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England