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Biographical entry Speight, Irwin Bruce (1911 - 1998)

MRCS and FRCS 1953; MB ChB Otago 1935; DO 1956.

19 February 1911
Dunedin, New Zealand
1 March 1998


Bruce Speight was a consultant ophthalmologist at Grimsby General Hospital. He was born on 19 February 1911 in Dunedin, New Zealand, where his father Walter was a merchant. His mother was Anna née Borrows. He was educated at Otago Boys' High School and Otago University, qualifying in 1935. After junior posts he came to England via Cape Horn as a ship's doctor to study for the FRCS. He did a number of junior posts and passed the primary. He joined the Territorial Army at this stage and was called up into the RAMC at the outbreak of war, where he served with the Lincolnshire Yeomanry, and then transferred to the Sudan Medical Service, retiring with the rank of Major. During this period he passed the final FRCS.

In 1955, Bruce Speight returned to England from the Sudan to train in ophthalmology, and was a senior house officer in the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital, registrar in the eye department at Addenbrooke's, and senior registrar at the Sheffield Royal Infirmary. In 1964, he was appointed consultant ophthalmic surgeon to the Grimsby General Hospital. After he retired he continued to do refraction work.

He married Gertrude Patricia (Patsy) née Noall in 1952, she was a nurse whom he had met in the Sudan. They had a daughter, Emma Lucy, who became a consultant dermatologist.

Bruce enjoyed golf, continuing to play until he was 86, wine-making, and travel. He died of a stroke on 1 March 1998.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 1998 316 1752, with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England