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Biographical entry Page, Basil Henry (1910 - 1998)

MRCS 1934; FRCS 1935; MB Bchir Cambridge 1934; Mchir 1946.

7 January 1910
Ilkley, Yorkshire
10 July 1998


Basil Page was a specialist in urology at North Middlesex Hospital. He was born in Ilkley, Yorkshire, on 7 January 1910, the son of Frederick James Page, a mechanical engineer, and his wife Margaret née Casswell. He was educated at Clarence School, Weston-super-Mare, and Canford School, Dorset, from where he went to Peterhouse, Cambridge. There he won the A R Graham prize. He started his medical training in Bristol in 1931, but moved to the London Hospital in 1932, where he came under the influence of Russell Howard, Sir James Walton, George Heligan and Victor Dix, who inspired in him a special interest in urology. He was progressively houseman, receiving room officer, registrar, and then first assistant at the London. During the war he served in the RAMC from 1942 to 1946, ending as Lieutenant Colonel in charge of a surgical division.

He was appointed consultant surgeon to the North Middlesex Hospital in 1947 and became increasingly interested in urology. He took a year out to visit Ann Arbor, Michigan, where Reed Nesbit was one of the leading exponents of transurethral resection of the prostate, in those days seldom performed in England. On returning to the North Middlesex it was not long before he had become an expert with the new technique, and had built up a specialist urological department, one of the first in England at that time. He specialised entirely in urology from 1961 onwards, and was an assistant editor of the British Journal of Urology from 1963.

After his retirement in 1975 he was invited to join the Institute of Urology, where he became a much sought-after teacher, and carried out research into the nature of the 'capsule' of the prostate, which refuted most of the conventional wisdom. A quiet, unassuming man of great dignity and kindliness, Basil's only standard, both in his work and his teaching, was the best; nothing less was acceptable.

In his later years he developed a rare carcinosarcoma of the bladder which was treated by one of his colleagues with great success. Gradually, Alzheimer's disease overtook him: he fell and broke a hip, and went steadily downhill. He was a deeply committed Christian, much involved in parish activities in Cuffley. He married Elizabeth Morris in 1940 and had two daughters and a son, who is a consultant cardiologist. He died on 10 July 1998.

The Royal College of Surgeons of England