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Biographical entry Stead, John Reginald St George (1908 - 1991)

MRCS 1934; FRCS 1947; BA; FRCS Edinburgh 1938; LRCP 1934.

20 June 1908
Grahamstown, South Africa
28 August 1991
General surgeon


John Reginald St George Stead was born in Grahamstown, South Africa, on 20 June 1908. His father was William Yewdall Stead, a missionary priest, and his mother, Miriam Peterson, was the daughter of an architect. He was the sixth child in the family and the third boy. He was educated at St Andrew's Preparatory School, Grahamstown, and later at St Andrew's College, where he was awarded a prize in classics. He then entered Rhodes University where he obtained a double first in the BA (classics).

He came to England in 1929 to the London Hospital Medical College where he qualified MRCS LRCP in 1934, and in 1938 he passed the examination for Fellowship of the Edinburgh College. He became a surgical registrar at the London and was there at the outset of the second world war. He served in the RAMC until 1946, attaining the rank of lieutenant colonel and was mentioned in despatches. On demobilisation he returned to the London Hospital and took the Fellowship of the College in 1947. He was appointed general surgeon at Hackney and Homerton Hospitals and remained there until his retirement in 1973.

Stead married Elizabeth Gilling, QARANC, in North Africa in 1944 and there were two daughters of the marriage. Frances followed her mother into nursing and trained at St Thomas's Hospital; Marilyn followed her father into medicine, qualified from the London Hospital and became a general practitioner. In their retirement the Steads moved to Highcliffe in Dorset, where John occupied himself with gardening, reading and marquetry, and gave freely of his time in showing visitors round the Priory Church in Christchurch. He died on 28 August 1991, survived by his wife and daughters.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Information from his widow, Mrs E Stead].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England