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Biographical entry Murray, Cecil James Boyd (1910 - 1991)

MRCS 1933; FRCS 1936; MS London 1938; MB BS 1935; LRCP 1933.

8 January 1910
Alexandria, Egypt
4 April 1991
General surgeon


Cecil Murray was born in Alexandria on 8 January 1910 and was educated at King's College Canterbury and the Middlesex Hospital Medical School, qualifying MRCS LRCP in 1933 and MB BS two years later.

As a lieutenant colonel surgical specialist in the RAMC he had a distinguished war record in North Africa and Italy and was mentioned in despatches.

In 1946 he was appointed consultant surgeon to the Middlesex Hospital where he joined a group of distinguished clinicians, and for a number of years shared his wards with Mr (later Sir) Eric Riches - a surgical firm popular with the students. A careful general surgeon, with fine judgement regarding operative intervention, he was superb as an operator, and many of his junior staff took on his methods. In the 1950s and 1960s he was particularly interested in surgery of the stomach and duodenum when partial gastrectomy was the standard procedure for peptic ulcer; it was rare for his patients to have postoperative complications.

Cecil Murray was a reserved man with a perfectionist's approach to patient care and a correspondingly demanding attitude to his junior staff, who were expected to carry out his instructions to the last detail. Although reticent, he was always ready to help colleagues when asked about clinical or administrative problems and he had a wry sense of humour.

As well as his consultant post at the Middlesex he was also on the staff of the King Edward Memorial Hospital, Ealing, and the Royal Masonic Hospital, and he was a member of the Court of Examiners of the College.

He was a keen fly fisherman and in his latter years enjoyed gardening at his home in Comrie in Perthshire. His wife, Bona, died in 1974, a year before he retired: they had two sons, one of whom, Richard, became a consultant radiologist in Perth. Cecil Murray died on 4 April 1991, aged 81.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 1991 302 1593, with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England