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Biographical entry Kinsella, Victor John (1900 - 1983)

MRCS and FRCS 1930; MB ChM Sydney 1922; MD 1950; FRACS 1936.

30 July 1900
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
22 June 1983
General surgeon


Victor John Kinsella was born in Sydney, New South Wales, on 30 July 1900, the son of John J. Kinsella, a public accountant, and his wife Elizabeth, née Reynolds. He was educated at the Marist Brothers' School, North Sydney, and at the age of thirteen won a bursary to St Joseph's College, Hunter's Hill. After passing his school leaving certificate he was awarded a University exhibition to Sydney University. He qualified in 1922 having been awarded the Caird Scholarship and the Parkinson Memorial Prize in pathology.

His first post was resident medical officer at Prince Alfred Hospital, Sydney, and subsequently he was medical superintendent at Lewisham Hospital, Sydney. In 1926 he moved to Melbourne as assistant to Sir Hugh Devine and after three years in the post he came to Europe for postgraduate surgical study. He spent six months at the Allgemeines Krankenhaus in Vienna under Professor Finsterer and then came to London to take the FRCS which he passed in 1930.

He returned to Sydney in 1931 and, after three years as honorary surgeon to Hornsby Hospital, was appointed honorary surgeon to St Vincent's Hospital. He was a true general surgeon and in addition to his interest in upper gastrointestinal surgery was also one of the first to use the Smith-Petersen trifin nail for the treatment of fractures of the neck of the femur. In 1950 he submitted a thesis on abdominal pain to the University of Sydney and was awarded the MD degree. He retired from hospital work at the age of 60 and from private practice two years later. He enjoyed rowing and debating at university and, in later life, sailing. He married firstly Sylvia Lawes-Wittewronge in 1927 and they had one daughter and two sons. His wife died in 1966, shortly after his retirement and in 1970 he married Barbara Anne Bavin, a medical artist from the department of histology and embryology in the University of Sydney. There were no children of his second marriage. He died on 22 June 1983, age 82, and is survived by his second wife and the three children of his first marriage; John, a businessman, Helena, a nursing sister at St Vincent's Hospital before her marriage, and his younger son, Philip, an orthodontist.

The Royal College of Surgeons of England