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Biographical entry Tompkin, Albert Michael Barry (1921 - 1987)

MRCS 1942; FRCS 1950; MB BS London 1944; LRCP 1942.

14 March 1921
16 February 1987
General surgeon


Albert Tompkin was born on 14 March 1921 in Nottingham, the son of Albert, an analytical chemist and his wife, Lucy, née Wilson, who was a teacher. He went to Nottingham High School and long before he left he had made up his mind to be a surgeon. In 1937 while still only sixteen years of age he was admitted to Nottingham University to study for his MB and the following year was admitted to St Thomas's Hospital Medical School in London. With the outbreak of war he was evacuated to Oxford to complete his preclinical studies and then continued his clinical training at the EMS Sector Hospital at Hydestile, near Godalming and its associated centres. On passing his qualifying examinations he was still under 21 and had to wait until 1942 to have his name placed on the Medical Register.

His early house appointments were held at St Anthony's Hospital in Cheam after which he joined the RAMC and was posted to the 5th Manchester Regiment. On demobilisation he was resident assistant surgeon at the West London Hospital and following appointments at Hammersmith Hospital he was appointed to a consultant post in the Medway Health District. One of his appointments was to St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester, where he became a Brother of the Hospital which has close links with Rochester Cathedral. He took an active part in the 900th celebrations of the Hospital which was originally a leper institution, and thus antedates its more famous namesake, St Bartholomew's Hospital in Smithfield, London.

Barry took an especial interest in gastric surgery and in particular, vagotomy. He contributed a number of papers to the Lancet and British journal of surgery on selective vagotomy. In 1945 he married Barbara Margaret Bankes-Price of Lampcter by whom he had a daughter, Ann, and a son, David, the latter subsequently qualifying at St Thomas's Hospital and entering general practice at Rcdhill, Surrey. Following an illness, Barry retired in 1983.

He died on 16 February 1987 aged 65 years, survived by his wife, children and three grandchildren.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Information from his brother, Mr Geoffrey Tompkin, and The Nottinghamian, July 1987].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England