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Biographical entry Morris, Edward Walter Talwin (1899 - 1995)

MRCS 1926; FRCS 1935; LRCP 1926.

Born
1899
Adelaide, Australia
Died
17 February 1995
Occupation
Anatomist

Details

'Tom' Morris was born in 1899 at Adelaide, where he started to read medicine, but interrupted his studies to enlist during the first world war, narrowly surviving the Spanish 'flu epidemic in 1918 aboard a troopship. After the war he came to England to follow in his father's footsteps at St Thomas's Hospital where he qualified in 1926 and then joined the Sudan Medical Service, where he spent the next twenty-one years, surviving diphtheria, malaria and amoebic dysentry.

He developed an interest in anatomy whilst studying for the primary, passed the final FRCS in 1935, and then returned to St Thomas's as a senior lecturer in anatomy in 1949. There he continued to teach anatomy until 1965, when he went back to Khartoum to continue to teach for a couple of years before moving to Scotland, to the University of St Andrews, where he pursued research into the embryology of the heart by means of electron microscopy. He was still teaching anatomy during his 94th year, and remained physically and mentally fit until the day of his death, which was precipitated by his push-starting his car. He left a wife and two sons, the youngest of whom, H C T Morris, continued the family tradition of demonstrating anatomy at St Thomas's before becoming a GP. He died on 17 February 1995.


See below for an additional extended obituary written in 2018

Edward Walter Talwin Morris, known as 'Tom', was a surgeon in the Sudan Medical Service and then a teacher of anatomy at St Thomas's Hospital Medical School, London. He was born in 1899 in Adelaide, South Australia, the son of Edward Walter Morris, a doctor originally from Reading, England and Dora Annie Morris née Jacobson. He started to read medicine in Adelaide during the First World War, but interrupted his studies to enlist, narrowly surviving the Spanish flu epidemic in 1918 on board a troopship. After the war, he went to the UK in his father's footsteps to St Thomas's Hospital Medical School and qualified in 1926.

In 1929, he joined the Sudan Medical Service, where he spent the next 20 years mainly in the south and west, surviving diphtheria, malaria and amoebic dysentery. From 1944 to 1949 he was based in Khartoum as the senior surgeon and lecturer in surgery.

He developed an interest in anatomy whilst studying for the primary and passed the final FRCS in 1935 while on leave from the Sudan. He returned to St Thomas's as a senior lecturer in anatomy in 1949. He continued to teach anatomy there until 1965, when he went back to the Sudan for two years as professor of anatomy at the University of Khartoum.

After moving to Scotland, he taught anatomy at the University of St Andrews, where he also pursued research into the embryology of the heart using the electron microscope. He was still teaching anatomy in his 94th year.

His death, on 17 February 1995, was precipitated by successfully push-starting the family car. He was survived by his wife, Margaret (née Orr-Patterson) and two sons, the younger of whom, Hubert Charles Talwin Morris, continued the family tradition of qualifying at St Thomas's before becoming a GP.

Nick Morris
Hugh Morris
Sarah Gillam

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 1995 311 1017; Squires H C. The Sudan Medical Service: an experiment in social medicine London, William Heinemann Medical Books Ltd, London, 1958].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England