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Biographical entry Kyle, John Bruce (1909 - 1986)

MRCS and FRCS 1948; BA Oxford 1931; MB BCh BAO Belfast 1939.

13 May 1909
Ballylinny, County Antrim
6 June 1986
Orthopaedic surgeon


John Bruce Kyle was born in Ballylinny, County Antrim, on 13 May 1909, the son of John Kyle, a Presbyterian minister and Grace, née Moore. His early education was at Campbell College, Belfast, and he won a scholarship to Trinity College, Oxford where he read classics and was captain of the boat club. After graduating with a BA degree he entered Queen's University, Belfast, for medical studies, qualifying in July 1939. His early house appointments were in Belfast and in May 1942 he joined the Royal Army Medical Corps, serving in the Middle East until 1946, attaining the rank of Captain and being graded specialist in surgery. After demobilisation he was surgical registrar at Musgrave Park Hospital, Belfast, and at Kingston General Hospital, Hull, passing the FRCS in 1948. He decided to specialise in orthopaedic surgery and was appointed senior orthopaedic registrar at the Royal Infirmary, Bristol, and at Winford Hospital. He had a special interest in the surgical treatment of flexor tendon injuries of the hand and in conjunction with Arthur Eyre-Brook wrote a book on this subject, published in 1954.

He was appointed consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Hexham General Hospital and at Newcastle General Hospital in 1952 and for many years his workload at Hexham was heavy as he was the only consultant orthopaedic surgeon on the hospital staff. He was responsible for establishing the spinal unit at Hexham which served the entire Northern Region. His professional and organisational abilities were recognised when in 1982 a new ward on the unit was named the J B Kyle Ward.

After retiring from hospital practice in 1974 he retained an interest in the welfare of the disabled by serving as president of the hospital spinal injuries sports club and was also a president of Torch, a sports centre for disabled people in Hexham. He was an elder of the United Reformed Church in Hexham, a founder member of Hexham Music Society and a member of Corbridge Art Club as well as being a keen golfer. He married Annie Thomson, a state registered nurse, in 1948 and they had two sons; John, who became a television presenter and Andrew, a British Council Arts Officer. He died on 6 June 1986 aged 79 survived by his wife and family.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1986, 293, 274].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England