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Biographical entry Kendrick, Ralph Ronald (1915 - 1994)

MRCS 1939; FRCS 1948; MB BS London 1939; LRCP 1939.

3 April 1915
29 November 1994
General surgeon and Vascular surgeon


Ralph Ronald Kendrick was born on 3 April 1915 in Camberwell, London, the only son of Samuel and Eleanor Kendrick. He was educated at Dulwich College and received his medical education at King's College Hospital, London, where, following graduation, he became house surgeon to Sir Cecil Wakeley. He then joined the Royal Air Force as a general duty medical officer, attaining the rank of squadron leader and serving for some years in Canada.

Returning to civilian life he became in due course a surgical registrar at the Gordon and Princess Beatrice Hospitals in London, and in 1948 passed the FRCS. Later he became a surgical registrar at the Joyce Green Hospital, Dartford, and the Gravesend General Hospital. At this point in his career he became interested in vascular surgery, at that date beginning to emerge as a specialty in its own right. In pursuit of this he performed considerable research into the various vascular grafts then available. Besides work as a busy registrar he found time to court and marry Kathleen Elizabeth Owsley, by whom he had four sons and one daughter: the eldest son, born in 1949, recalls being taken as a small boy to the hospitals with which his father became associated, and possibly because of this was the only one of their children to become interested in medicine.

He was appointed consultant general and vascular surgeon to the Medway Hospital Group in 1962 and thereafter led a busy life in both hospital and private practice.

His chief interest outside the hospital was his garden, which covered three acres and in which he grew sufficient vegetables to feed not only his children but also his twelve grandchildren. In the mid-sixties he bought his first Aston Martin and joined the Aston Martin Owners' Club, continuing to drive his car until his death at the age of 79.

After his retirement in 1980 he continued in private practice, and until the age of 70 performed intermittent locums in the area. He died suddenly on 29 November 1994 following surgery to repair a thoracic aortic aneurysm, survived by his wife Elizabeth, children David, Richard, Anne, John and Robert, and grandchildren.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 1995 310 1192.].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England