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Biographical entry Martin, Norman Samuel (1912 - 1991)

MBE (Mil); MRCS and FRCS 1941; MB BCh BAO 1935; MD Belfast 1937.

8 August 1912
Monaghan, Ulster
27 July 1991
Orthopaedic surgeon


Norman Martin was born at Keady Town, Monaghan, Ulster on 8 August 1912. His father was the Reverend Samuel Hans Martin BA, the Presbyterian Minister in Keady, and his mother was Lily Irwin, from Armagh. He studied at Campbell College, Belfast, and went from there to Queen's University, Belfast, where he won the Symington anatomy medal as an undergraduate. He obtained 1st class honours in the final MB examination in 1935, proceeding to an MD with honours in 1937.

As a young man he did his house jobs at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast, before taking up a post as surgical house officer at St Bartholomew's Hospital, Rochester, Kent. He returned to Belfast as a demonstrator in anatomy and went on to Cambridge, again as a demonstrator in anatomy, and then became resident surgical officer at the Prince of Wales Hospital, London. In 1947 he was appointed senior registrar in orthopaedic surgery at the Wingfield Morris Hospital in Oxford and in 1948 became consultant orthopaedic surgeon at the Musgrove Park and Belfast City Hospitals. He had heavy clinical duties but was always working on a new project. He was among the first surgeons to use metal prostheses for arthritis of the hip, and he published extensively on spinal fusion for tuberculosis, spinal tumours and hemi-arthroplasty of the hip.

His military service was in the Royal Army Medical Corps and he was awarded the MBE (military) during the Arakan campaign in Burma.

He married Margaret Sheila from Rochdale, and they had two sons and a daughter. His son Peter is a consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Baragwanath Hospital, Johannesburg, South Africa. His other son Paul is a businessman in County Down, Northern Ireland, and his daughter Margaret married and went to live in Brisbane, Australia.

He was captain of the Bisley National Rifle Association in 1932 and was captain of the Irish and Inter-University team for rifle shooting from 1932 to 1934. Photography and fishing were his favourite hobbies.

He died on 27 July 1991, survived by his wife and family.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 1992 304 115].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England