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Biographical entry Yeates, Derick McRae (1907 - 1984)

MRCS and FRCS 1937; MB BS Sydney 1930; FRACS 1945.

23 February 1907
Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia
19 May 1984
General surgeon


Derick McRae Yeates was born on 23 February 1907 at Toowoomba, Queensland, the eldest son of Herbert Yeates, a stock and station agent and a member of the Legislative Assembly in Queensland. A younger brother, James McRae Yeates FRCS (1909-1960) was honorary assistant surgeon to Sydney Hospital (Lives of the Fellows, 1952-1964, pp.459-60).

His early education was at Toowoomba State School and Toowoomba Grammar School before entering the University of Sydney for medical studies. He qualified in 1930 with second class honours and for the next four years was resident and registrar at Sydney Hospital. He came to England in 1934 and, after working under Illtyd James at the Central Middlesex Hospital and Sir Gordon Gordon-Taylor at the Central Middlesex Hospital, passed the FRCS in 1937.

During the war years he served with the Australian Imperial Forces, initially with 212 Australian Casualty Clearing Station in the Middle East and later as Lieutenant Colonel in command of 102 Australian General Hospital in New Guinea. After demobilisation in 1946 he was appointed as surgeon to the Royal Brisbane Hospital and also to the Repatriation Department. He passed the FRACS in 1945 and served as secretary to the Queensland State Committee of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons from 1945 to 1954 before becoming chairman from 1955 to 1958. A special interest was the treatment of malignant melanoma and he made a contribution to the literature on this subject.

He married Suzette Harrold in 1945 and there were four sons of the marriage, none of whom took up medicine. His outside interests were swimming, tennis and golf. He died on 19 May 1984, aged 77.

The Royal College of Surgeons of England