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Biographical entry Tucker, William Arthur Leigh (1912 - 1999)

OBE 1956; FRCS ad eundem 1976; DTM&H 1939; LRCP LRCS 1938; LRFPS Glasgow 1938; FRCS Edinburgh 1947; FRCP&S Glasgow 1947; FACS 1957.

3 August 1912
Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia
20 October 1999
General surgeon


William Tucker was a general surgical consultant in West Dorset. He was born on 3 August 1912 in Salisbury, Southern Rhodesia - now Harare, Zimbabwe. His mother was Maud Janet née Tribe. His father, William Arthur Leigh Tucker, was born in Hampshire and moved to South Africa to work in the mines in Kimberley, and rode north with Rhodes to Salisbury, where he prospered, and ended as the owner of a mineral water bottling company. William was educated at Prince Edward School, Salisbury, and later at Plumtree School, Bulawayo. He studied medicine in Edinburgh, played cricket and hockey for his university, and gained first class honours in anatomy, clinical surgery, medicine and pathology, as well as the John Frazer prize.

He served in the RAMC in East Africa from 1940 to 1945, becoming the corps' training officer for the first four years. At the end of the war, he joined the Colonial Medical Service to become medical officer to the Masaka district. In 1950, he was seconded to Makere College for a year to head up the new department of surgery, combining this with responsibility for obstetrics and gynaecology. In 1951 he transferred to Aden, where he was a surgeon specialist. He retired from the Colonial Service in 1964. He was awarded the OBE in recognition of his valuable service.

He remained very active in retirement - doing a series of locum consultant appointments in Dorset, acting as medical officer to Bovington Camp, serving on the Wessex Regional Board and as clinical tutor for the West Dorset group of hospitals, during which time he was made FRCS ad eundem.

In 1938, he married Patricia Mary Johnson, a nurse, by whom he had a daughter, Rosemary, and a son, William Arthur. She predeceased him, and he married for the second time (in 1987) Martha Geessiena Kruyer, also a nurse, by whom he had a second son, James (born 1983). There are four grandchildren and one great grandson. He died on 20 October 1999.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 1999 319 1579, with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England