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Biographical entry Martin, Francis Robert Raby (1911 - 1983)

MRCS LRCP 1935; FRCS 1938; MA Cambridge 1931; MD 1954; LRCP 1935; JP 1961.

8 June 1911
Bradford, Yorkshire
19 March 1983
General surgeon


Francis Martin was born in Bradford, Yorkshire, on 8 June 1911 the only son of Arthur Martin, a doctor, and Margaret (née Raby) whose father was a metal merchant in Manchester. Francis had three sisters, one a doctor, and his uncle was Sir George Martin of Leeds who gave the desk of Lord Moynihan to the College.

Francis was educated at Sherborne School and King's College, Cambridge, obtaining first class honours in natural science in 1931, and Leeds University Medical School where he was awarded the Edward Ward Prize for surgery. He qualified MRCS, LRCP in 1935. Determined to become a surgeon, after house posts in Leeds and at St Paul's Hospital, London, he passed the FRCS in 1938, and in that year also joined the Territorial Army serving the 17th General Hospital (TA). In the British Expeditionary Force he was taken prisoner at Boulogne in 1940 and spent the rest of the war carrying out medical duties in a prisoner of war camp (Major, RAMC) and becoming proficient in tapestry and bridge. On release in January 1945 he became resident surgical officer, Leeds General Infirmary and he worked with E R Flint, George Armitage and Digby Chamberlain. In 1946 he began his work as surgeon to the Bradford Hospitals gaining a high reputation for skill and judgement, serving the various committees and becoming President of the Bradford Medico-Chirurgical Society. In 1976 he retired.

He contributed to surgical service and literature with an MD thesis on Crohn's disease in 1954 and several papers, mostly on gastroenterology which appeared in the British journal of surgery and the British medical journal. His writing ability was necessary to produce a paper on a literary subject once every two years for the Bradford Atheneum Club (Literary Society) of which he was a member for 22 years. He was also a member of the Bradford Music Club and besides tapestry, he enjoyed tennis, golf, shooting, gardening and supporting the National Trust. He was a staunch Methodist, a magistrate and a Rotarian.

He married Marjorie Clare and they had a son who became a consultant surgeon in Cleveland, and two daughters.

He died suddenly on 19 March 1983.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1983, 286, 1292 with portrait, 1452].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England