Browse Fellows


www Lives

Biographical entry Vieyra, Harold John Kevin (1929 - 1989)

MBE(Mil) 1965; MRCS and FRCS 1960; MB BS Madras 1953; MCh Orth Liverpool 1965; FRCS Ed 1959; OHS 1989.

4 May 1929
Madras, India
21 September 1989
Orthopaedic surgeon


Harold John Kevin Vieyra was born in Madras India on 4 May 1929. He was educated privately before attending Montford Boys' European High School, Yercaud, where he became the junior athletics champion. His premedical studies were at Madras Christian College and he then qualified from Madras Medical College in 1953. He came over to England for his preregistration training at Stoke-on-Trent and Dartford. After National Service in the RAMC, when he was graded a junior specialist in surgery, he was appointed registrar at Alton General Hospital and at the Lord Mayor Treloar Orthopaedic Hospital.

After first passing the Edinburgh Fellowship in 1959 he was commissioned in the Royal Air Force as a junior specialist in orthopaedics. After a year at Ely he passed his FRCS. As a young officer his technical skills and his clinical judgement were recognised by his seniors and his subsequent career bore witness to their discernment. His early service took him first to Christmas Island and then to Cyprus where he had served whilst doing his National Service. It was the time of the troubles and for his services to the young civilian patients who had become victims he was awarded the MBE(Mil). After leaving Cyprus in 1964 he attended Liverpool University and gained the MCh (Orth) in 1965. He was then appointed consultant orthopaedic surgeon to the RAF hospitals at Nocton Hall and at Halton. An exchange consultant posting to the United StatesAir Force Hospital Wilford Hall, San Antonio, Texas, followed. His teaching abilities were recognised by his appointment to a clinical lectureship at the University of Texas Medical School. He was appointed a senior consultant in 1982 and promoted to the rank of consultant advisor in orthopaedic surgery in 1983, which he held until his death.

Throughout his career he was dedicated to research and teaching. He established the RAF Orthopaedic Surgery Research Group and published many papers on both general topics and on those particular to aviation medicine. He was co-author of a textbook of aviation medicine in which he displayed his interest and expertise in the orthopaedic problems of aircrew. In 1989, in recognition of his contribution to orthopaedic surgery in the RAF, Air Commodore Vieyra was appointed Honorary Surgeon to Her Majesty the Queen.

He married Alison in 1962 during his posting to Cyprus. They returned there often, always to be greeted by his friends and patients he had met in those troublesome times. He was a keen sportsman, playing tennis and squash and was an excellent shot. He was an amusing and articulate colleague with a wide circle of friends from home and abroad.

He died on 21 September 1989 after a year's illness which he bore with great dignity and courage sustained by his deep faith. His wife and two daughters, Louise and Jessica, survived him.

The Royal College of Surgeons of England