Browse Fellows


www Lives

Biographical entry Kennedy, Terence Leslie (1919 - 1993)

MRCS 1942; FRCS 1946; MB BS London 1942; MS 1950; FRCSI ad eundem 1971; Hon MD Queen's University Belfast.

12 December 1919
11 December 1993
General surgeon


Terence Kennedy was born in Plymouth on 12 December 1919 to Charles Matheson Kennedy, MBE FRCS, former surgical first assistant at the London Hospital and consultant surgeon at the Prince of Wales Hospital, Plymouth, and Mabel Maud, née Hore, a nurse. His grandfather had qualified at Trinity, Dublin, and practised as a surgeon in British Guiana; his brother, Hugh Henry Kennedy, MRCS, FRCS Edinburgh, was an orthopaedic surgeon in Epsom; and a nephew, Colin, (who also qualified at the London and is a Fellow) is a urological surgeon in Bury St Edmunds.

He was educated at Ravenswood Preparatory School in Tiverton, won a scholarship to St Edward's School, Oxford, and then entered the London Hospital Medical College where he won the Buxton prize in anatomy and physiology and the Charrington prize in anatomy in 1939, and thereafter would count Professor John Dixon Boyd, the anatomist, as his most memorable tutor.

Qualifying in 1942, he joined the RNVR as a temporary surgeon lieutenant and served in the Atlantic, Mediterranean and Pacific theatres of war until 1946. He returned to the London as a supernumerary registrar to Tudor Edwards, and later was surgical first assistant (ie senior registrar) to the firm of Perry and Moore. He much admired the judgement of Alan Perry. Later he was first assistant to Neligan and Taylor: Hermon Taylor was then pioneering gastroscopy and emergency partial gastrectomy. During this period Terence had a formidable reputation among students as a teacher. Then followed a fallow period when, along with so many of his generation at the outset of the NHS, he had difficulty in finding a suitable post, and in 1949 served as first assistant on the neurosurgical and thoracic surgical firms. He published some eighty papers, among which his controlled clinical trials comparing various procedures won him wide respect, but he also published on adrenal surgery and trauma.

Terence was on the Council of the Association of Surgeons in the 1970s and became its President in 1981. He was a keen member of the Surgical Research Society, the British Society of Gastroenterology, the British Society of Endocrine Surgeons, the Irish Society of Gastroenterology, the Ulster Society of Gastroenterology and the Ulster Medical Society.

Elected to the Council of the College in 1981, he proved himself to be a notable Chairman of the Hospital Recognition Committee in 1984, when the College actively set about improving the standard of training. Terence was not averse to showing that his committee not only had teeth, but was prepared to use them, and was unshaken in his efforts to improve the lot of young surgeons in training.

In 1983 Terence was awarded the Koster prize of the Danish Society of Gastroenterology and was the first holder of the Graham Coupland medal of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. A frequent visiting professor to American centres, he was the 1982 Culpepper Professor of the University of Illinois.

On 21 June 1949 he married Bridget Frances, née Walker, a doctor's daughter; they had a son, Peter, who became a doctor, and two daughters - Helen, and Penelope, an ophthalmologist. Terence was a very keen sailor, winning (with his wife) the Flying Fifteens National Championship in 1962 and 1966. He was also a keen gardener, concentrating particularly on growing eucalyptus trees. There is an excellent likeness of Terence in the lower left hand corner of the 1988 Council painting by June Mendoza. He died on 11 December 1993.

The Royal College of Surgeons of England