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Biographical entry Paul, Milroy Aserappa (1900 - 1988)

MRCS 1924; FRCS 1927; MB BS London 1925; MS 1927; MRCP London 1925; Hon DSc Ceylon 1970; LRCP 1924.

20 January 1900
8 October 1988
General surgeon


Milroy Aserappa Paul, the eldest son of Samuel Chellar Paul, one time senior surgeon to the Colombo General Hospital, and of Dora Eleanor Paul (née Aserappa) was born in Colombo on 20 January 1900. His mother was the daughter of Dr Simon de Melho Aserappa, MD Edinburgh. Milroy was educated at Ladies College, the Government Training College, and at Royal College, Colombo, where he won prizes in science and mathematics as well as the Rayapakse Prize. After one year at Colombo Medical College he came to King's College, London, where he won the Self Medal, and to King's College Hospital where he was awarded prizes in surgery, orthopaedic surgery, hygiene, psychological medicine and forensic medicine. He qualified in 1924, and after resident appointments was casualty officer in 1926 and then surgical registrar at King's College Hopsital in 1927 after completing the fellowship and mastership examinations. He was a great admirer of Sir Cecil Wakeley and later named his first child, Wakeley Wisekumer Paul, after him. On returning to Ceylon, as Sri Lanka was then called, he became surgeon to Jaffna Hospital 1930-1933, and then, in 1934, surgeon to Ceylon General Hospital. From 1936-1965 he was the founder Professor of Surgery, first at the Colombo Medical College and the Childrens Hospital. During the second world war, with the rank of major (temporary Lieutenant Colonel) in the Ceylon Medical Corps, he became officer in charge of the surgical division at 55 British Military Hospital, Colombo, and also surgical consultant to the Royal Air Force, holding the last appointment until the RAF left Ceylon in 1960.

Milroy Paul, although having the advantage of distinguished medical forbears on both sides of his family, was a man who, by sheer hard work and brilliance, achieved great distinction in his own country and became widely known outside Sri Lanka. He was a man of great presence and striking appearance. He retained close contact with the Royal College of Surgeons and was three times appointed as a Hunterian Professor in 1950, 1953 and 1955. He was also diligent in keeping the College informed of the progress of its fellows in Sri Lanka and India, contributing valuable information to the Lives of the Fellows. His publications covered various congenital abnormalities, pancreatic cysts, amoebic abscess of the liver and tropical elephantiasis. He was a founder member of the Ceylon Association for the Advancement of Science in 1944, and its President in 1954. He was also a founder member and first President of the Association of Surgeons of Ceylon 1963-64. He was first married in 1927 to Winifred Hanah Penmany Canagasary, by whom he had one son. After the death of his first wife in 1944 he married Irma Maheswari Philips in the following year. They had three sons, one of whom became a dental surgeon, and a daughter who qualified in medicine. Paul was a keen tennis player and swimmer, and he was a frequent visitor to the UK, the last occasion being in 1986. When he died on 8 October 1988, in his 89th year, he was survived by his second wife and the children of both marriages.

The Royal College of Surgeons of England