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Biographical entry Tatham, Reginald Cyril (1901 - 1983)

MRCS 1924; FRCS 1930; LRCP 1924.

19 September 1901
19 April 1983
Orthopaedic surgeon


Reginald Cyril Tatham was born on 19 September 1901 at Watford, the youngest son of an import and export merchant in the City of London. He was educated at Felsted School before entering Middlesex Hospital Medical School. He qualified in 1924 and in the following year was appointed ship's surgeon to the Blue Funnel Line.

He decided to embark on a surgical career and returned to the Middlesex Hospital initially as resident surgical officer and later as orthopaedic registrar. He passed the FRCS in 1930 and four years later went to Trinidad with a view to establishing an orthopaedic service in Port of Spain. His plans did not materialise and he returned home the following year. On the journey home he met Dr Louis Lavine, the senior physician at Hull Royal Infirmary and was invited to accept the post of honorary assistant surgeon to the hospital and a year later persuaded the hospital governors to this specialty. At that time he visited Vienna to see the fracture unit run by Professor Bohler.

At the outbreak of war he volunteered for active service but was not accepted on medical grounds. He remained at Hull throughout the war years devoting his time to treating the large numbers of injuries inflicted by bombing raids. He remained on the staff until 1966 when he retired.

He married Kathleen Searle in 1932 but she pre-deceased him in 1970. In the year preceeding her death he had suffered a massive stroke which prevented him enjoying his pursuits of sailing and tennis. He died after a further stroke on 19 April 1983 and is survived by his daughter, Valerie, who looked after him during most of his long final illness.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1983, 286, 1759 with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England