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Biographical entry Temple, John Lloyd (1916 - 1994)

CStJ 1965; MRCS 1939; FRCS 1948; MB BS London 1939; LRCP 1939.

10 December 1916
Hong Kong
10 November 1994
General surgeon


John Temple was born in Hong Kong on 10 December 1916, the eldest son of John Robinson Temple and Ruth Margaret, née Barrowclough, both of whom were Methodist missionaries. He won an exhibition to the Leys School, Cambridge, and later was awarded an entrance exhibition to St Bartholomew's Hospital for his medical studies. During his student years he won the Brackenbury prize in surgery and after qualifying in 1939 he was appointed house surgeon at the East Suffolk and Ipswich Hospital.

Although he had intended to join his parents and to be a medical missionary in China, the war intervened and he joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve as a surgeon lieutenant from 1940 until he was demobilised in 1946. He was then appointed surgical registrar at West Middlesex Hospital and subsequently senior registrar at St George's Hospital, where he came under the influence of Victor Riddell.

In 1952 he was appointed consultant surgeon to Weston-super-Mare General Hospital, joining a team of three consultant surgeons in a hospital which had been staffed by general practitioners until 1948. In addition to a heavy surgical workload he found time to join the Rotary Club, to be county surgeon for the St John Ambulance Brigade in Somerset and to play a leading rôle in the Methodist church. He was a local preacher and a founder member of Bournville Methodist Church, situated in a local council estate.

He greatly enjoyed travelling and, when his children had grown up, loved to visit them in various parts of the world. In 1973 he took a year's unpaid leave to work in West Africa as a medical missionary and in 1977 he retired from his hospital post in order to spend a second year in missionary work. Sadly he suffered his first stroke in 1980 which resulted in a hemiplegia. After recovering from this there was a further stroke in 1991 and he became dependent on an electric buggy for transport, in which he could be seen riding with élan! He died from a malignant colonic tumour on 10 November 1994, and was survived by his wife (Charlotte) Mary, née Leighton, whom he married in 1941, and by two daughters and three sons, one of whom is a doctor.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 1995 310 1325, with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England