Browse Fellows


www Lives

Biographical entry Winterton, William Ralph (1906 - 1988)

MRCS 1929; FRCS 1935; BA Cambridge 1926; MA and MB BCh 1935; FRCOG 1948; LRCP 1929.

8 April 1988
Obstetrician and gynaecologist


William Ralph Winterton was educated at Marlborough College and at Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and the Middlesex Hospital before qualifying in 1929. After resident appointments he became gynaecological registrar at the Middlesex in 1936, where he was deeply influenced and inspired by Victor Bonney, before his appointment to the honorary staff of the Soho Hospital for Women in 1936, Queen Charlotte's Hospital in 1937 and the Middlesex in 1938. His training gave him a lifelong interest and great skill in the management of gynaecological malignancy where he combined radical surgery with radiotherapy. He was also an accomplished obstetrician of sound judgement. An outstanding teacher of undergraduates and postgraduates, he allowed his registrars and resident staff as much practical experience as possible and was responsible for the training of many surgeons in his specialty.

Ralph Winterton was a man of the highest integrity, honesty and sincerity who inspired great loyalty and affection in his junior staff. He examined for the Universities of Cambridge, London, Glasgow, Ibadan and Dar es Salaam as well as the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. He was President of the Section of Obstetrics and Gynaecology of the Royal Society of Medicine in 1960. Outside his professional work his interests were many and various. A keen and active member of the Drapers' Company, he was elected to the Court of Assistants in 1957 and was Master in 1964. He was a governor of the company's schools: first at Bancroft's, where his father had been chaplain, and later as governor and vice- chairman of Howells, Denbigh. He was also an enthusiastic campanologist and became president of the Guild of Medical Ringers. He gave freely of his energies to his church and bells at Rushden, Hertfordshire, where he lived, and at St Michael's Cornhill, where he was churchwarden. Much of his spare time was devoted to carpentry, at which he was quite expert, and to fishing. After retirement he continued his association with the Middlesex Hospital as its archivist and was elected president of the Victor Bonney Society. A devoted family man, he died in hospital on 8 April 1988 survived by his wife Kaye and their two sons and two daughters.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times 11 April 1988; Brit med J 1988, 296, 1406].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England