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Biographical entry Martin, John Stuart (1917 - 1997)

MRCS and FRCS 1954; MC MB BCh BAO Belfast 1939; DLO 1952; FRCSI 1949.

19 June 1917
Robinstown, County Meath
3 September 1997
ENT surgeon, General surgeon and Otolaryngologist


John Stuart Martin was senior consultant otolaryngologist at Hull Royal Infirmary. He was born on 19 June 1917 in Robinstown, County Meath, and qualified from Queen's University Belfast in 1939. After completing his junior appointments in Belfast he joined the RAMC, where he served in North Africa and Europe, commanding field ambulances. He was later appointed assistant director of medical services with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. In 1943, he was awarded the Military Cross for conspicuous bravery having, "immediately proceeded to the place which was being most heavily shelled…quite undaunted by the heavy shellfire he attended to the wounded men without regard for his personal safety. By his brave action he undoubtedly saved lives and the example had a steadying influence on all around him."

After the war he studied general surgery for a time in Dublin, where he became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in 1949. He then decided to make otolaryngology his career and went to England, where he was appointed senior registrar at the Middlesex Hospital, working with Monkhouse and C P Wilson. In 1952 he passed the DLO and took his FRCS (otolaryngology) in 1954. He was appointed consultant ear, nose and throat surgeon to Hull Royal Infirmary, succeeding Robert Simpson, and he remained there for the rest of his working life. He continued to live in Hull after his retirement.

His many friends described Martin both as a gentleman and a gentle man. He was a devoted family man and in 1953 he married Violet Henrietta Meyerstein, who had been a house surgeon at the Middlesex. They had three daughters. One is a general practitioner in Yorkshire. Another trained as a nurse, also at the Middlesex, and later obtained a PhD in nursing. John Martin enjoyed the practical side of his specialty and was particularly skilful in drilling the temporal bone. When he retired from practice, he devoted himself to woodwork and made a long case clock for each of his three daughters after he had panelled the rooms in his house. His wife Violet survived him by six months following his death from cancer on 3 September 1997.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 1997 315 1545].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England