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Biographical entry Klidjian, Arsene (1918 - 2001)

MRCS 1941; FRCS 1946; MB BS London 1942; LRCP 1941.

22 April 1918
Alexandria, Egypt
31 July 2001
General surgeon


Arsene Klidjian was born in Alexandria, Egypt, on 22 April 1918. His father, Karnig Klidjian, was a pharmacist and among those who had fled Armenia in the Turkish massacres. Arsene was educated at Victoria College. His elder brother was expected to help run the family business, but Arsene was sent to England with a letter of introduction from the family doctor to St Bartholomew's Hospital in 1935, where he qualified in 1941. During the war, he trained as a surgeon at hospitals in Chichester, Tunbridge Wells, Hitchen and London.

In 1948, he married Doreen Scandrett, a nursing sister he had met at the Kent and Sussex Hospital. Later in that year, he was persuaded by Sir Peter Dixon to join the RAF, in which he remained until his retirement in 1983 with the rank of Air Commodore.

Following postings in the Canal Zone and Singapore, he became senior surgeon at RAF Cosford until 1966. During this time, many aspirant surgeons doing their National Service received their first training under his tutelage and many future NHS consultants remember his calm, patient guidance in theatre. At that time he worked with Wing Commander Pip Robertson, doing pioneering research and surgery for renal arterial hypertension, for which they later received the Lady Cade medal from the College. A three year posting to Wegberg in Germany was followed by his final post at RAF Wroughton, where he spent the last 14 years of his career.

Arsene died on 31 July 2001 after three year's illness, which required care in a nursing home. He was survived by his widow, and his son Alan, a Fellow of our College.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Information from Mr Alan M Klidjian, FRCS].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England