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Biographical entry Shaw, William Mortimer Haigh (1915 - 2002)

MRCS 1938; FRCS 1946; MB ChB Leeds 1938; LRCP 1938.

22 February 1915
9 June 2002
Plastic surgeon


Mortimer Shaw was a consultant plastic surgeon at St James's Hospital, Leeds. He was born on 22 February 1915 in Cleckheaton. His father, William Shaw, was a medical practitioner. His mother was Lizzie née Haigh. From Oundle, Mortimer went on to study medicine at Leeds, where he graduated with first class honours, the William Hey gold medal and the West Riding Practitioners and McGill prizes. He did junior posts at the General Infirmary at Leeds and then went to the plastic surgery unit at Rooksdown House, Basingstoke, to learn the principles of plastic surgery from Sir Harold Gillies.

Having passed the primary, he joined the RAMC and was posted to the Middle East as assistant surgeon with the 2nd maxillofacial team, which was treating the casualties of desert warfare. This took him to Jerusalem, Cairo, Tripoli and finally, as a Major, to Sicily.

After the war, he returned to Rooksdown House to assist Gillies during the day and study for the final FRCS in the evenings. In 1947, he joined the newly formed plastic surgery unit at St James's, Leeds, from which, over the years, he established units in Bradford and Hull. He was a founder member of the British Association of Plastic Surgeons on whose council he served for many years.

Outside surgery, he had many interests, including painting, driving fast cars and hill walking. In 1948, he married Mary née Child. They had one son and one daughter, and four grandchildren. He retired to Cumbria, where he continued to enjoy walking the fells. He died on 9 June 2002, from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 2002 325 661, with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England