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Biographical entry Smith, William Henry Maitland (1907 - 1989)

MRCS and FRCS 1936; MB ChB Edinburgh 1929; MCh Orth Liverpool 1937.

31 October 1989
General practitioner and Orthopaedic surgeon


William Henry Maitland Smith was born in 1907 and after early education at George Watson's College entered Edinburgh University for his medical studies, qualifying in 1929. After initial house appointments at Birkenhead General Hospital and the Royal South Liverpool Hospital he entered general practice in Leeds but in 1931 decided to pursue a career in surgery. He was surgical registrar and clinical tutor at the David Lewis Northern Hospital, Liverpool, and passed the FRCS in 1936; later he transferred to the orthopaedic department of the same hospital and acquired the MCh Orth in the following year.

He was appointed to the first post of consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Doncaster Royal Infirmary in 1938 with additional appointments at Montagu Hospital, Mexborough, and King Edward VII Hospital, Sheffield, and soon established a high quality fracture and orthopaedic service at the hospitals. For the first 16 years of his appointment he was the only orthopaedic surgeon at Doncaster and although his interests were necessarily wide he particularly enjoyed working with children's problems. He was a founder member of the Yorkshire Orthopaedic Travelling Club, later called the Holdsworth Club.

He retired from the hospital service in 1972 but continued to live at Doncaster and to enjoy his hobby of golf, at which he became highly proficient. He never married and died on 31 October 1989 aged 82.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1990, 300, 115].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England