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Biographical entry Nish, John Noel (1913 - 1983)

MRCS and FRCS 1941; MB BS Melbourne 1935.

Benalla, Victoria, Australia
6 October 1983
Accident and emergency surgeon and Orthopaedic surgeon


John Noel Nish was born in Benalla, Victoria, Australia, in 1913, the son of a general practitioner and the grandson of the Reverend Dr Nish who left Scotland to preach to the goldminers in Bendigo. He was educated at Geelong Grammar School before entering Trinity College, Melbourne, for medical studies. He qualified in 1935 and after early house appointments was surgical registrar at the Alfred Hospital, Melbourne. He was then awarded the Marion Flack travelling scholarship to come to England.

His first appointment in England was as resident surgical officer at the Ashington Hospital and he passed the FRCS in 1941. He was then first assistant to Sir Reginald Watson-Jones at the Liverpool Royal Infirmary until 1943 when Sir Reginald was approached by Sir Frank Lord, Chairman of Oldham Royal Infirmary and as a result John Nish was appointed consultant in charge of the orthopaedic and accident services at Oldham. The accident department was built to his design and served a large industrial area as well as many motorways and trunk roads. He continued to run the department until his retirement in 1977.

He married Sarah McAllister in 1940 and there were two children of the marriage. After retiring from hospital work he continued to pursue his interests in his house and garden, and to enjoy family life. He was busily occupied in reconstructing an Irish cottage and doing most of the physical work himself when he died suddenly after a myocardial infarct on 6 October 1983, aged 70, while staying at his son Ian's house in Dublin. He is survived by his wife and family.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1983, 287, 1478].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England