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Biographical entry Talbot, Graeme Gibson (1902 - 1992)

OBE 1946; MRCS and FRCS 1931; MB ChB Otago 1925; FRCS Edinburgh 1925; FRACS 1949.

1 February 1902
Auckland, New Zealand
11 October 1992
Ophthalmic surgeon


Graeme Gibson Talbot was born in Auckland, New Zealand, on 1 February 1902, the son of Alfred Talbot, an eye and ENT surgeon, and Beatrice, née Gibson. He was educated at King's College, Auckland, where he was dux. He then went on to the Otago Medical School, where he was awarded the McCallum medal, and senior and junior medals in surgery. He graduated MB ChB in 1925 and in the same year came to Britain to undertake his surgical training. He obtained the FRCS Edinburgh in 1925 and the English Fellowship in 1931. He held junior appointments at the Royal Northern Hospital, Freemason's Hospital and Princess Elizabeth Hospital for Sick Children. When he returned to Auckland in 1931 the country was in the grip of the depression. He decided to take up ophthalmic surgery and returned to London for training. He held junior posts at Golden Square Throat Hospital, the Royal Northern Hospital and the Central London Ophthalmic Hospital. A period of study in Vienna was followed by consultant posts at the Royal Westminster Ophthalmic Hospital, the Royal Northern Hospital and East Ham Memorial Hospital.

At the outbreak of war in 1939 he immediately went on active service as a major in the RAMC, serving in the Middle East, Italy, France and Germany. For the invasion of Europe he was ADMS with the rank of colonel to the British 5th Infantry Division, and was later awarded the OBE.

In 1946 he returned to Auckland and was appointed ophthalmic surgeon at Auckland Hospital, retiring in 1963 as senior ophthalmic surgeon. He was an innovative surgeon with a heavy workload and a busy private practice, but he still found time to engage in a wide range of professional and community activities. He was at one time President of the Auckland division of the BMA, the Ophthalmological Society of New Zealand and the Auckland Medicolegal Society. He was an examiner in ophthalmology for the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons and a trustee of the Royal New Zealand Foundation for the Blind. He was a long-standing member and deputy Chairman of the Auckland Hospital Board and a member of the steering committee for the Auckland Medical School.

In 1932 he married Joan Kathleen Betts of London. He died on 11 October 1992 after a long and debilitating illness, survived by his wife, twin sons and a daughter.

Sources used to compile this entry: [NZ Med J 1992 105 504].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England