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Biographical entry Morris, Thomas Michael Owen (1928 - 1986)

MRCS and FRCS 1963; MB BCh Cambridge 1952; DLO 1960; ARCM 1949.

11 March 1928
Borth, Cardiganshire
2 September 1986
ENT surgeon


Thomas Michael Owen Morris was born in Borth, Cardiganshire, on 11 March 1928, the son of Reverend George Trevor Morris and after early education at Bloxham School, Banbury entered Trinity College, Cambridge in 1946 having gained a choral scholarship. In addition to studying for the natural sciences tripos he pursued his musical studies and in 1949 gained the associateship of the Royal College of Music.

His clinical studies were at King's College Hospital and he qualified in December 1952. His first appointments were as house surgeon to the ear, nose and throat department of King's College Hospital and later casualty officer. Shortly afterwards he joined the Royal Army Medical Corps initially as general duties medical officer and later as specialist in otorhinolaryngology. While serving in the Army he passed the DLO in 1960 and the FRCS in 1963. He finished his Army career in 1966 having reached the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel and after returning to civilian life spent eight years from 1966 to 1974 at St George's Hospital where he established a paediatric otology service. In 1972 he was appointed consultant ear, nose and throat surgeon at Queen Elizabeth Hospital, King's Lynn but his enthusiasm for paediatric otology was such that for the next two years he continued to work part-time at St George's. His ebullient energy made him a natural leader in King's Lynn and he was soon organising clinical and academic meetings. He retained his interest in singing and on being asked if he wished he'd stuck to music rather than medicine replied "I've always stuck to music". His other main hobby was sailing and he gained his yacht master's ticket in 1976 and constructed his boat himself.

He was a man of enthusiasms, always planning the next project while deeply involved in the current one, whether he was discovering the delights of rebuilding linenfold panelling, building reproduction furniture of the highest quality, collecting pewter, going to auctions, or finding old carpentry tools. A friend remembered him making a faithful copy of a fourteenth century refectory table; there wasn't a single nail in it and he had even found out how the craftsmen of the day made their glue so that the whole thing would be authentic.

When he died on 2 September 1986 aged 58, after a very full life, he was survived by his wife Naomi and six daughters.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1987, 294, 1040; Trinity College Cambridge Ann Rec 1986, p.46].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England