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Biographical entry Griffiths, David Lloyd (1908 - 1997)

MBE 1945; MRCS 1930; FRCS 1935; MB ChB Manchester 1932; LRCP 1934.

6 February 1908
Y Trallwng, Wales
10 February 1997
Orthopaedic surgeon


David Griffiths was director of orthopaedics at Manchester Royal Infirmary. Born in Y Trallwng, Wales, on 6 February 1908, his father, David, was a minister of religion and his mother, Mary Eleanor Jones, the daughter of a vet. He was educated at William Hulme's Grammar School, Manchester, and the University of Manchester, where he graduated with first class honours and won many prizes and distinctions. After junior appointments at the Manchester Royal Infirmary and the Christie Hospital, he gained the Hallett prize in the primary and passed the final FRCS the following year.

A chance meeting with Robert Jones determined his choice of career, and he trained in orthopaedics in Manchester and Oswestry under Harry Platt and Henry Osmond-Clarke. He was an Hunterian Professor in 1940. He joined the RAMC in 1942, reaching the rank of Major, and was orthopaedic surgeon to the Cambridge Hospital, Aldershot, from 1943 to 1946, where he developed a special interest in vascular injuries, for which work he was awarded the MBE.

After the war, he was appointed to the Manchester Royal Infirmary and the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital at Oswestery, at the same time as his close friend John Charnley. There he developed a special interest in spinal tuberculosis and was chairman of the Medical Research Council's working party on that disease. He was a trustee of the British Orthopaedic Association, and an honorary member of orthopaedic associations from the Philippines to Africa, and visited many overseas centres as a visiting professor.

He married Nancy Mary Webb in 1939 and had two sons, Myles and Wynn, and one daughter, Branwen, who became a radiologist. He remained a devoted Welshman, interested in all things Welsh, as well as opera and chamber music, and was a member of the court of the Royal National Eisteddfod of Wales. He died on 10 February 1997, predeceased by his wife and their daughter.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 1997 314 1419, with portrait; J Bone Joint Surg 1997 79-B(4) 691-2].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England