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Biographical entry Gowar, Frederick John Sambrook (1910 - 1998)

VRD; MRCS 1932; FRCS 1934; MB BS London 1932; LRCP 1932; FRCS Edinburgh 1957.

25 January 1910
24 March 1998
Thoracic surgeon


Frederick John Sambrook Gowar was a consultant thoracic surgeon in the Grampian region. He was born in Southgate, London, on 25 January 1910. His father, Frederick William Gowar, was a schoolmaster, and his mother (whose maiden name was Johns) was the daughter of a naval officer. He won an entrance scholarship to Southgate County School, from which he gained an exhibition to the Middlesex Hospital. There he won the John Murray, Freeman and Lyell medals and scholarships, as well as the Broderip scholarship. He was house surgeon to Gordon-Taylor and Vaughan Hudson, and later became registrar to Webb-Johnson. He obtained an MRC grant to do research at the Buckston Browne Farm and was Hunterian Professor, for a dissertation on pulmonary lobectomy. He was resident surgical officer at the Brompton Hospital under Price Thomas, and later first assistant to the department of thoracic surgery at the London Hospital with Tudor Edwards.

He spent the war in the RNVR, reaching the rank of Lieutenant Commander, serving four years on hospital ships. On D-day he was on a tank landing ship, performing an emergency appendicectomy on the chief officer on the mess dining table. After the war, he was appointed consultant thoracic surgeon in Aberdeen, served on the board of management at Aberdeen General Hospital and the Regional Hospital Board, and the council of the Society of Thoracic Surgeons. He was one of the first to recognise the link between smoking and lung cancer and made considerable efforts to spread the news. An enthusiastic golfer, he holed in one during a Medical Golf Society competition.

He married Mary Rogers, a nursing sister, and had two daughters, one son and ten grandchildren, one of whom became a medical student and another, a geneticist. He died on 24 March 1998, following a stroke.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 1998 316 1832, with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England