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Biographical entry Murley, Alan Hugh George (1923 - 1996)

MRCS 1946; FRCS 1951; MB BS London 1946; MA Cambridge 1977.

9 November 1923
Gidea Park, Essex
11 January 1996
Orthopaedic surgeon


Alan Murley was born in Gidea Park, Essex, on 9 November 1923, the son of George Fraser Murley, an insurance broker, and Winifred Annie Gunary. He was educated at the Royal Liberty School, Romford, where he excelled in sports, being captain of his cricket and football teams. Despite being offered a place to read physics at Cambridge he chose to read medicine in London and trained at St Bartholomew's Hospital Medical School, qualifying in 1946.

After junior posts at Bart's he joined the RNVR, becoming surgeon lieutenant commander. After demobilisation he was appointed orthopaedic registrar at Bart's and then senior registrar at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, where he trained under Jackson Burrows. He also spent a year as lecturer in orthopaedics at the University of Hong Kong where he developed interests in poliomyelitis in children, leprosy and spinal tuberculosis.

He was appointed consultant orthopaedic surgeon to Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, and the East Anglian Regional Hospitals Board in 1962, and he later became an ABC orthopaedic travelling fellow. He developed the hand service at Addenbrooke's Hospital and worked closely with rheumatology colleagues on the combined management of rheumatoid arthritis, and also on the treatment of children with spina bifida.

He married Anne Macdonald in 1956 and they had one son, Richard, and two daughters, Helen and Kate, who all survived him. His outside interests included athletics and tennis, books, music and gardening.

He retired from his hospital posts in 1988, and died on 11 January 1996, aged 72. A Service of Thanksgiving was held at the Round Church at St Andrew the Great in Cambridge on 18 January 1996.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 1996 312 1474, with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England