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Biographical entry Hicks, John Herbert (1915 - 1992)

MRCS 1940; FRCS 1942; MB ChB 1938; MCh(Orth) 1950.

1 February 1915
4 January 1992
Accident surgeon


John Hicks was born in Bristol on 1 February 1915, the son of William Herbert Hicks, a printer's manager, and his wife Norah Gertrude, née Lane. He studied medicine at Birmingham University, obtained his Fellowship in 1942 and served as a ship's surgeon in the Merchant Navy between 1942 and 1946.

During his time as surgical registrar and resident surgical officer at Birmingham General Hospital he worked with H H Sampson, B T Rose, R Scott Mason and J B Leather, and obtained the MCh (Orth) from Liverpool in 1950. He was appointed surgeon to the Birmingham Accident Hospital in 1951, where he proved to be a thoughtful and innovative exponent of accident surgery. His outstanding contribution was in the rigid fixation of fractures, but he also worked on the composition of metallic implants and the dangers of corrosion, the management of infected fractures, the treatment of non-union and the mechanics and anatomy of the foot.

He was a fine teacher, a botanist of distinction (he joined an expedition to Bhutan and had two plants named after him) and the author of amusing and provocative articles in medical journals. He married Dr Sheila C S Meux in 1955 and they had two sons and one daughter, who all survived him when he died on 4 January 1992.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 1992 304 1050-51].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England