Browse Fellows


www Lives

Biographical entry Smith, Vernon Hope (1925 - 2002)

MRCS and FRCS 1955; MB BChir Cambridge 1950; DO 1961; FRCS Edinburgh 1961; FRCOpth 1989.

27 April 1925
26 December 2002


Vernon Hope Smith was a consultant ophthalmologist at Birmingham and West Midlands Eye Hospital and a senior tutor in ophthalmology at Birmingham University. He was born on 27 April 1925. His father, Vernon, and his uncle, Reginald, were distinguished ENT surgeons in Manchester. He was educated at Rossall School and Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge, and did his clinical training at Manchester, where he qualified in 1950. He began his training in orthopaedic surgery and was senior registrar to Sir John Charnley, but later changed to ophthalmology at the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, where he was senior registrar to Alexander Stuart Scott. He was appointed as a consultant in Birmingham in 1961.

He had wide interests in ophthalmology. In his Middlemore lecture in 1970 on the future of vitreo-retinal surgery he developed the medial wall approach to orbital decompression in dysthyroid eye disease, and was at the forefront of the development of ophthalmic ultrasound. He was a co-author with F E James of Eyes and education (London, William Heinemann Medical Books, 1968). He was secretary of the Midland Ophthalmological Society from 1970 to 1978 and President from 1978 to 1980. He was a member of the Oxford Ophthalmological Congress.

He was married twice. He had two daughters, Amanda Jane and Lucinda, and two grandchildren, Lara and Alexander. He was interested in history, cars and fine wines, and was a gifted pianist, playing with a jazz trio who were much in demand in his student days. He died on 26 December 2002.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 2003 326 1401, with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England