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Biographical entry Stamm, Temple Theodore (1905 - 2001)

MRCS 1928; FRCS 1934; MB BS London 1930; LRCP 1928.

22 December 1905
18 October 2001
Orthopaedic surgeon


Temple Theodore Stamm, known as 'Tim', was an orthopaedic surgeon at Guy's and at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital. He was born on 22 December 1905. His father, Louis Edward Stamm, was a general practitioner in Streatham. His mother was Louise Ethel née Perry. He was educated at Haileybury, before going to Guy's to study medicine. After junior posts at Guy's, he specialised in orthopaedics, and was registrar at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital. He served in the RAMC during the second world war, reaching the rank of Major.

Guy's had been the first hospital to appoint a specialist orthopaedic surgeon and Tim Stamm was the third in this post. He was also on the staff of the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, but surprised many by resigning to concentrate his efforts on the Guy's sector at Pembury, Bromley and Orpington.

He wrote many articles and chapters in textbooks. He was a visiting professor to Johns Hopkins in the fifites and was a stimulating teacher. He was highly regarded by his juniors for his technical excellence and unhurried operating.

He was a shy, retiring man, but essentially friendly. His friends were surprised when in 1945 he married Pamela Hamilton-Miller, a widow with three small children to whom he was a loving stepfather. She predeceased him in 1998. One stepson, Jeremy, took him to see a wrestling match on a Saturday afternoon. Tim was horrified to recognise 'Gorgeous' George Gordienko, on whom he had operated for a prepatellar bursa only a month before. "Don't worry," Gorgeous George told him, "we are well rehearsed."

He had a passion for designing, inventing and making things: this included four swimming pools, intricate woodcarvings, silk pyjamas, tools and games. In 1947 he bought a farm where he raised Guernsey cattle and pigs, and cultivated woodland. He tried always to complete his list at Guy's so that he would be home in time for the milking. His sudden decision to retire at the age of 60 took Guy's by surprise. In retirement he sold the farm and bought an estate in Cornwall, where he grew daffodils. He died on 18 October 2001.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 2001 323 1190, with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England