• Crest of the Royal College of Surgeons of England

Plarr’s Lives of the Fellows is a biographical register of the fellows of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. With over 9000 obituaries now available online, and more being added every month, it not only serves as a record of the evolution of surgery, but also an important archive for English social history.

Victor Plarr (1863-1929), who was the college librarian from 1897 until his death, produced the first two printed volumes which were published after his death in 1930. Nine print volumes were produced with the last one published in 2005. These covered all those fellows (FRCS) who were known to have died between 1843, when the FRCS was established, and 2002. In 2006, the Lives Online website was set up and entries began to be uploaded for all those fellows who had died since 2002.

In January 2016, the last obituaries published in printed volumes one to nine were put online, a project eight years in the making. However, if you know of a fellow who died before 2002 and is not listed on this website, please do let us know.

The Lives of the Fellows team continue to add entries for newly deceased fellows on a monthly basis.

How can you help?

If you are a current fellow and would like to provide us with updated details of your career, please send us a CV or fill in a Lives of the Fellows form (DOC format, PDF format).

Please return it to the college by email to lives@rcseng.ac.uk or addressed to the Honorary Editor, Lives of the Fellows, Library, Royal College of Surgeons of England, 35-43 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PE.

The information that you provide on this form will be held by the Library & Surgical Information Services department of the Royal College of Surgeons of England in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulation (2018). We will retain the information for the purposes of writing an obituary for Plarr’s Lives of the Fellows, which is a legitimate interest activity for the Royal College of Surgeons of England. This information will be stored on a compartmented secure server and will not be used or shared for any other purposes during your lifetime.

While GDPR does not apply to an individual after death, the form will be retained and handled by the Royal College of Surgeons of England, in accordance with a “legitimate interest” lawful basis.

Should you wish to find out more about how we handle your information, or should you decide that you no longer want us to hold this information, please contact lives@rcseng.ac.uk.

Are you interested in writing a fellow’s obituary? For author instructions and advice please email lives@rcseng.ac.uk.

If you would like to report the death of a fellow please email the membership department membership@rcseng.ac.uk.

If you notice a factual error with any of the online obituaries please take a look at the Lives of the Fellows amendment policy for information and advice.

An updated index of post nominal letters and abbreviations (PDF) used in Lives of the Fellows entries is now available.

Lives of the Fellows editorial team

  • Mr John Black FRCS (Chairman)
  • Professor Irving Taylor FRCS (Honorary Editor)

If you have any questions about the Lives of the Fellows, please email lives@rcseng.ac.uk.


Please note that some of the older obituaries on the Lives of the Fellows website, particularly those reproduced from the first three printed volumes (originally published in 1930 and 1951), reflect the social attitudes of their time. These attitudes may sometimes now be considered inappropriate and the entries should be read in context as historical documents.