Browse Fellows


www Lives

Biographical entry Wilson, Stanley Livingstone (1905 - 1990)

CMG 1966; DSO Mil; MRCS 1927; FRCS 1932; MB BCh Otago 1929; Hon DSc 1975; FRACS 1938; Hon FACS 1963; LRCP 1927.

Dannevirke, New Zealand
2 June 1990
General surgeon


Stanley Livingstone Wilson was born at Dannevirke, New Zealand, in 1905, and was educated at Dannevirke High School where he was head prefect and captain of the cricket and rugby teams. While at school he played for Hawke's Bay at cricket and secured many prizes as well as a university entrance scholarship in 1923. On graduating from Otago Medical School in 1929 he was house surgeon at Dunedin Hospital and then moved to London and the Middlesex Hospital in 1931. On passing the FRCS in 1932 he was resident surgical officer at the Royal Northern Hospital and then in the London County Council service at Islington. He returned to Dunedin in 1935 as resident surgical officer and was appointed assistant visiting surgeon in 1937. On the outbreak of the second world war he joined the New Zealand Army Medical Corps as a surgical specialist with the rank of Major and went to Egypt in October 1940, serving in the 2nd New Zealand General Hospital at Helwan, Cairo. He then joined No I Mobile Casualty Clearing Station in the Western Desert from 1941 to 1943, and was fortunate to escape when the Germans overran his unit at Sidi Rezegh during the retreat to Egypt before the battle of El Alamein. He was awarded the DSO at this time for distinguished and meritorious service to battle surgery before being moved to the Pacific region as commanding officer of No 2 Casualty Clearing Station with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. His unit was based at Guadalcanal for the campaign through the Solomon Islands.

After the war Stanley Wilson returned to surgical practice in Dunedin, becoming senior surgeon and senior lecturer to the medical school in 1951. He had an excellent reputation as an all round general surgeon with a special interest in urology. Having become a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons in 1938 he was a member of Council from 1951 to 1962. He was President from 1961 to 1962, being the third New Zealander to hold this office. He was also a member of the Court of Examiners for many years and became an honorary Fellow of the American College of Surgeons in 1963. On retiring early from his hospital staff in 1965, he served for three terms on the Otago Hospital Board and continued to work at Ranfurly Hospital until he finally gave up active practice in 1982. He had been awarded the CMG in 1966 and an honorary DSc at the University of Otago in 1975 on the hundredth anniversary of the medical school.

He married Isabel Kirkland in 1930 and they had two sons and a daughter. He was very much his own man, a rather private person, widely read and with a special interest in his family and his home at Maori Hill. He also had a farm at Middlemarch which was taken over by his eldest son and which blossomed as a holiday home. When he died suddenly on 2 June, 1990, aged 85, he was survived by his wife, children, twelve grandchildren and five great-grandchildren. In keeping with his unassuming character were his instructions that there should be no public ceremonies of any kind after his death.

Sources used to compile this entry: [NZ med J 1990, 103, 332-333 with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England