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Biographical entry Morgan, Sir Clifford Naunton (1901 - 1986)

Kt 1966; MRCS 1923; FRCS 1927; MB BS London 1924; MS 1956; FRCOG 1962; Hon FRCSI: Hon FACS 1960; LRCP 1923.

20 December 1901
Penygraig, Glamorgan
24 February 1986
General surgeon


Clifford Naunton Morgan was born at Penygraig, Glamorgan, on 20 December 1901, and was educated at the Royal Masonic School, Bushey, before entering University College Cardiff and St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College. After qualifying in 1923 and graduating the following year he held resident appointments at the Metropolitan Hospital, London, and at St Mark's Hospital. After passing the FRCS in 1927 he became an anatomy demonstrator at St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical College in 1929. The following year he was appointed assistant surgeon to the Metropolitan Hospital while serving also as surgical chief assistant to Sir Charles Gordon-Watson's unit at St Bartholomew's. He became casualty surgeon at Barts in 1936 and the following year was appointed surgeon to St Mark's Hospital, London, as well as assistant director of the surgical unit at Bart's.

Shortly after the outbreak of the second world war he joined the RAMC and was appointed officer-in-charge of a surgical division with the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. His hospital shortly moved to Egypt where he was mentioned in despatches. He then became consultant surgeon to the Persia-Iraq Force with the rank of Brigadier and later moved to East African Command. On demobilisation at the end of the war he returned to his practice and hospital work in London, mainly at Barts and St Mark's, but he was also consultant surgeon to King Edward VII Hospital for Officers, the Royal Masonic Hospital and the Hospital for Tropical Diseases. As if all this was not enough, he was also consultant surgeon to the Navy, the Army and the RAF until his retirement from hospital work in 1967.

Clifford Naunton Morgan received honours aplenty. He was an honorary member of many of the world's proctological societies, an honorary Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, and an elected Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. In 1961, after operating on Prince Bertil of Sweden in King Edward VII Hospital, he became a Commander of the Order of the Star of the North, and in 1966 he received the accolade of Knight Bachelor. He was Sir Arthur Sims Commonwealth Travelling Professor of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1963, Bradshaw Lecturer in 1964, and Vicary Lecturer in 1967. A member of the Council of the Royal College of Surgeons from 1953 to 1968, he was a Vice-President of the College from 1963 to 1965. He was president of the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland in 1968, and was President of the Section of Proctology of the Royal Society of Medicine on two occasions. He contributed many articles on his specialty to the professional journals and was the author of various chapters in British surgical practice and other surgical textbooks.

Clifford was a man of boundless energy who loved meeting people and talking with other surgeons. He was an enthusiastic teacher of both undergraduates and postgraduates and he delighted the many visitors from all over the world who came to his clinics and operation sessions. His friendly welcome, allied to a puckish sense of humour, made him wonderful company and he had friends and admirers in many countries, especially in the United States and the Middle East. He was a most kindly and considerate man who was never pompous. He enjoyed excellent relationships with all his patients, whether hospital or private, generally evoking their trust and real affection. His trainees too remembered him with gratitude.

Between the wars Clifford had bought a farm at Inkpen, Berkshire, where the family spent week-ends and holidays and to which he eventually retired. He had married Ena Muriel Evans in 1930, and they had two sons and a daughter, Sally. Both of their sons, Michael and Thomas, are surgeons. When Clifford died peacefully on 24 February 1986, aged 84, he was survived by his wife and children. A service of thanksgiving for his life and work was held in the Priory Church of St Bartholomew-the-Great on 2 July 1986 when Ian Todd, representing the St Mark's Association and the President of the Royal College of Surgeons, read the lesson, and John Griffiths gave an address.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1986, 292, 172. Lancet 1986, 1, 692; Daily Telegraph 22 February 1986; The Times 3 July 1986].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England