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Biographical entry Weale, Felix Ernest (1925 - 1998)

MRCS LRCP 1947; MB BS London 1948; FRCS 1954; MS 1959; PhD 1966.

15 February 1925
Prague, Czechoslovakia
6 March 1998
General surgeon and Vascular surgeon


Felix Weale was a consultant general and vascular surgeon at Dartford and Gravesend Hospital. He was born in Prague on 15 February 1925 and was a refugee to the United Kingdom in 1939. His father, Frederick Weil, was a journalist and a prominent critic of Hitler in the Czechoslovak press. He was educated at Kingston Grammar School and King's College London, before going to the Westminster Hospital Medical School, where he won a number of prizes and was much influenced by Sir Stanford Cade. After being house surgeon at the Westminster, he did his National Service in the RAF, reaching the rank of squadron leader, and serving mainly in the Middle East.

On his return, he spent time as a pathology registrar at the Westminster, Guy's and Barts, and was lecturer in physiology from 1956 to 1958 under the guidance of Lord Brock. After registrar training at Stephens' Hospital, he then became a senior lecturer and assistant director of the surgical professorial unit at Barts, where he was influenced by James Patterson Ross and Gerard Taylor. Whilst at Barts he had articles published on shock and blood flow in The Lancet, the British Journal of Surgery and in Annals of Surgery. He also published a monograph entitled An introduction to surgical haemodynamics (London, Lloyd-Luke [Medical Books], 1966).

He was appointed to the Dartford and Gravesend Hospitals in 1969, where he continued to contribute to the surgical literature on topics as varied as endoscopic transthoracic sympathectomy and techniques of amputation. He was also a regular contributor to the correspondence columns of the British Medical Journal. In one such letter he pressed for greater representation of district general hospital surgeons on the Council of the College, something which has now come about. He was a single-handed vascular surgeon covering all vascular surgical emergencies for almost the entirety of his career. Sadly, he was involved in an incident on Christmas Eve 1983, when he declined to go to the hospital where a patient was already on the table and opened up with a burst aortic aneurysm, claiming that a colleague of his was on duty. For this the GMC took the view that the incident was an isolated lapse in an otherwise long and unblemished career, and he was simply admonished by the disciplinary committee. He was allowed to continue working until his normal retirement.

He was a keen skier and also enjoyed painting. He married Audrey (née Elliott) in 1951 and had two sons; one predeceased him, the other became a consultant orthopaedic surgeon. There are three grandchildren. Felix Weale died of motor neurone disease on 6 March 1998. He was 73.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 1998 316 1752; Adrian Weale].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England