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Biographical entry Vernon, Henry Kenneth (1908 - 1983)

MRCS and FRCS 1935; MB BS Durham 1931; MS 1944.

10 December 1908
25 September 1983


Henry Kenneth Vernon was born on 10 December 1908, the son of Walter Vernon, a pharmacist, and his wife Sarah Ann, née Davies. He was educated at Hartlepool Grammar School and Durham University College of Medicine where he was awarded the Phillipson Scholarship. He graduated MB, BS in 1931 and was appointed house surgeon to FC Pybus at the Royal Victoria Hospital. He held further posts in Exeter and London and obtained the FRCS in 1935. At Queen Mary's Hospital, Stratford, his interest in urology was aroused by J Alban Andrews. He held the post of resident surgical officer at St Peter's Hospital for almost two years instead of the usual one and then moved into the London County Council hospitals until he was appointed surgeon to St James's Hospital, Balham, where he attracted an increasing load of urological work. He became assistant in urology to Professor Grey Turner at the Postgraduate Hospital in 1940.

In 1950 he was appointed urologist to St Peter's Hospital and to the Postgraduate Medical School and at that time he gave up his general surgery at St James's to establish a department of urology there. In recognition of his contribution to the hospital in 1982 the urology ward was named after him and an annual Henry Vernon lecture was established.

He was a founder member of the British Association of Urological Surgeons and was a member of the Board of Governors of St Peter's Hospital until his retirement in 1973.

Henry Vernon merited both the respect and affection of his colleagues and juniors. His life was governed by a deep Christian commitment.

In 1938 he married Elsie Bailes. They had two sons and one daughter; one son and the daughter are medically qualified. Sadly his retirement was marred by his wife's illness and her death in 1982. He died on 25 September 1983 in his 75th year.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1983, 2, 1726 with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England