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Biographical entry Morrissey, Denis Martin (1914 - 1987)

MRCS and FRCS 1949; MB BCh BAO NUI 1938; MCh 1949; FRCS Ed 1941.

13 July 1914
Newcastle, County Tipperary, Ireland
19 April 1987
General surgeon


Denis Martin Morrissey was born in Newcastle, County Tipperary, Ireland, on 13 July 1914, the second son of Michael Joseph Morrissey, a farmer. His early education was at the High School, Clonmel, County Tipperary, before entering University College, Dublin, for medical studies, which included a post working under Professor H Meade at St Vincent's Hospital in Dublin, and passed the FRCS Edinburgh in 1941. He joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in 1940 and was appointed surgical specialist with the rank of Lieutenant-Commander. He served as senior medical officer in the battleship HMS Anson and for two and a half years was in the hazardous convoys to Murmansk.

After demobilisation in 1946 he served as lecturer and senior lecturer in clinical surgery in the University of Birmingham from 1946 to 1949 working under Professor Stammers and Professor d'Abreu and passing the FRCS as well as taking the degree of Master of Surgery at the National University of Ireland in 1949. He was then appointed consultant surgeon to the United Birmingham Hospitals and to Corbett Hospital, Stourbridge. He continued to pursue his research interests in gastroenterology and peripheral vascular disease and in 1954 was elected Hunterian Professor. His lecture was entitled Treatment of obliterative vascular disease and reviewed 450 patients treated in Birmingham during an 8 year period, assessing the efficacy of sympathectomy, autogenous vein grafting and arterial homografts. He was a member of the Court of Examiners from 1966 to 1971 and Chairman of the Birmingham Division of the British Medical Association from 1969 to 1970.

After retiring from hospital work in 1979 he continued to pursue his hobby of salmon fishing. He married Dr Elizabeth Horlock Buchanan JP, MB, ChB, MRCP in 1954 and there were two sons and one daughter of the marriage. He died on 19 April 1987 aged 72 and is survived by his wife and three children, Simon, St John and Anne.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1987, 295, 861-862 with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England