Browse Fellows


www Lives

Biographical entry Brown, Harold Spencer (1924 - 1999)

MRCS 1949; FRCS 1959; MB BS London 1949; LRCP 1949; DObst RCOG 1951.

7 August 1924
Lostwithiel, Cornwall
25 November 1999
Accident and emergency surgeon and Military surgeon


Harold Brown was born at Lostwithiel, Cornwall, on 7 August 1924 and educated at Truro School. He trained at St Bartholomew's Hospital, qualifying in 1949. After house surgeon appointments, including obstetrics and orthopaedics, he joined the RAMC in March 1952. Initially on National Service, he was appointed to a regular commission in 1954. Following a surgical rotation at the Royal Herbert and Queen Alexandra's Military Hospitals and the Royal Army Medical College, he was graded as a surgical specialist and posted to the British Military Hospital at Kamunting, Malaya, during the internal troubles. He was awarded the General Service medal with the clasp 'Malaya'. During this time he was actively engaged in a wide range of military surgery, including treating active war wounds and was promoted to Major. He returned to the Royal Army Medical College for the senior officers' course, during which he passed the FRCS in 1959 and was graded as a senior specialist. Service in the British Army of the Rhine followed at the busy British Military Hospitals in Hostert, Munster and Rinteln. At Rinteln he was appointed as a consultant by the armed services consultant approval board, made officer in charge of the surgical division, and was promoted to Lieutenant Colonel. In 1965, he returned to Malaya to the British Military Hospital at Terendak. Here he was officer in charge of the surgical division, but, as the troubles had ceased, life was quieter. He was then posted to the Cambridge Military Hospital Aldershot in 1967, a busy hospital serving a large garrison, including the Parachute Brigade. This appointment introduced him to a wider range of trauma.

He decided to retire on retired pay in 1969 and return to his beloved Cornwall. He had a wide experience of general and trauma surgery, and thus was a good candidate to join the newly expanding specialty of accident and emergency. He was appointed A&E consultant to the Royal Cornwall Hospital at Truro, where he was able to revitalise the department.

He retired in 1989, remaining in Truro. He was a keen sailor and sailed his yachts from the River Fowey. A long distance walker, he walked the Cornish coastal path, as well as the Western Isles of Scotland. Happily married to Barbara née Robson, she survives him with their two sons, Stephen and David. He died on 25 November 1999.

The Royal College of Surgeons of England