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Biographical entry Williams, Hugh Osborne (1920 - 1988)

MRCS 1943; FRCS 1950; MB ChB Liverpool 1942; MChOrth 1950; MD 1971; FRCS Ed 1947; LRCP 1943.

3 February 1920
Connah's Quay
25 February 1988
Orthopaedic surgeon


Hugh Osborne Williams, the son of Dr William Neville Pennant Williams, a general practitioner, and of May Williams (née Ridgeway), was born at Connah's Quay on 3 February 1920. He was educated at Epworth School, in Rhyl, before entering the medical school of Liverpool University. In the attenuated wartime course he graduated in 1942 and did a resident appointment at the David Lewis Northern Hospital in Liverpool. He then joined the Royal Air Force Medical Service, serving in Wales and the Far East Command. After the war he rejoined the 610 County of Chester Squadron, of the Royal Auxiliary Air Force, and served with it, as well as being keeper of its photographic records, until it was disbanded in 1957. On demobilisation, he had been appointed orthopaedic registrar at the David Lewis Northern Hospital before becoming consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Whiston Hospital from 1955-1963. He then returned to the Wirral as consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Birkcnhead and Wallasey where he began a long and fruitful partnership with Dr T Littler in the rheumatology department. His MD thesis was entitled Early surgery in the rheumatoid hand. He was also a governor of special schools in Wallasey. In his earlier training he acknowledged his indebtedness to Professors TP McMurray and BL Macfarland.

Hugh Williams' diagnostic and operative skills were of the highest order and always coupled with compassion. He had a brilliant mind, a notable capacity for analysis, and a memorable command of language. He was, therefore, a born teacher of both undergraduates and postgraduates. His technical expertise in the operating theatre was matched by that in his workshop where he developed considerable skill with the lathe and constructed a working model steam engine in his leisure time. He was a man of immense loyalty to his friends, ever ready with advice and practical help. He was twice married; first, to Miss Ford and then to Anne Creer. When he died on 25 February 1988 he was survived by his wife, Anne, and by his three sons and two daughters.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1988, 296, 1138].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England