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Biographical entry Parry, Eric (1907 - 1995)

CStJ; MRCS and FRCS 1948; MB ChB Liverpool 1932; FRCS Edinburgh 1938.

31 December 1907
Bwlch-y-ffridd, Montgomeryshire
17 January 1995
Anatomist, General surgeon and Medical Officer


Eric Parry was born on 31 December 1907 in Bwlch-y-ffridd, Montgomeryshire. He was educated at Caterham School and the University of Liverpool, whence he graduated MB ChB in 1932. He joined the Indian Medical Service and became a lieutenant-colonel. When the Japanese invaded Burma he was stationed there, at Maymyo. He successfully led a large party of medical staff on a three week trek to safety, and his surgical skills were much in evidence during the battles of Imphal. On independence he returned home but found surgical opportunities limited.

At that time the British had encouraged the ruler of Kuwait to build a hospital but had not succeeded in opening or staffing it. Eric took on the awesome task of commissioning it quickly. His efforts as chief medical officer initiated the Kuwaiti hospital medical services, and for this he was awarded the CBE. He encouraged Kuwaiti doctors who wished to do so to achieve their higher qualifications in England, and made arrangements to this end with many English colleagues; thus he felt able to leave the future of Kuwaiti medicine in good hands.

On retiring from Kuwait he started a third career in the department of anatomy at Liverpool, where he found, to his surprise (for he was the most modest of men) that he had outstanding gifts as a teacher. His ability to drive home anatomical facts with wit and humour and his consistently friendly encouragement to all students became a byword; he continued teaching until he was 78.

Eric died of a myocardial infarction on 17 January 1995. He was survived by his wife, Marion, and their four children and eleven grandchildren. One son, Graham, is a general practitioner in Lincolnshire.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 1995 311 385].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England