Air Vice-Marshal George Henry Morley, C.B. (Mil.), C.B.E.(Mil.), O.B.E., F.R.C.S.

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  • 700 BRIT. J. SURG., 1971, Vol. 58, NO. 9, SEPTEMBER

    Air Vice-Marshal George Henry Morley, C.B.(Mil.), C.B.E.(Mil.), O.B.E., F.R.C.S.


    AIR VICE-MARSHAL G. H. MORLEY, Senior Consultant to the Royal Air Force, died suddenly on holiday on 26 May, 1971. In his sixty-fourth year he was still engaged in active surgical practice with less than a year to serve before enjoying a well-earned retirement. His death comes as a great loss to the Royal Air

    Middlesex Hospital Medical School, and it was dur- ing these years that he formed a close friendship with one of his teachers, the late Lord Webb Johnson. He obtained his conjoint diploma in 1929 and was then appointed house-surgeon at the Middlesex Hospital. In 1934 he joined the Royal Air Force Medical Service, and a year later obtained the F.R.C.S. In 1940 he was posted for special duties to East Grinstead where he worked with the late Sir Archibald McIndoe, an association which so greatly influenced his future career.

    In 1941 he opened the Burns and Plastic Surgical Unit at the R.A.F. Hospital, Ely, and it was then that he really commenced work in earnest in his speciality and began to lay the foundation of his future reputation in this field. By temperament he was ideally suited to the work of his choice. Calm and meticulous in his work in the theatre, he was cheerful and sympathetic in the care and supervision of his patients, who without exception became his friends. In 1945 he served as consultant surgeon in South-east Asia Command and surgeon to the Governor of Sind, returning to Halton later in the year as officer in charge of general surgery and plastic surgery. In 1950 he was appointed Senior Consultant in Plastic Surgery (R.A.F.), the first officer to hold such a post in the Royal Air Force. The name of George Morley was by now well known as a plastic surgeon, not only in the Service but also amongst his surgical colleagues in civilian life. He was promoted to Air Commodore in 1957 and to Air Vice-Marshal in 1962. In 1966 he was appointed Senior Consultant, R.A.F., and Senior Consultant in Surgery, R.A.F.

    In 1961 he was elected President of the British Association of Plastic Surgeons, of which honour he was justly proud. A further reward and recognition of his work came when he was invited to give the first McIndoe Memorial Lecture to the College of Surgeons in 1962; this was a particular joy to him as he always treasured the memom of his teacher Archie McIndoe.

    Air Vice-Marshal George Henry Morley.

    Force, to British surgery, and to all his colleagues and friends. There are great numbers of his patients from all over the world who will mourn his pass- ing and remember him with gratitude for restoring them to normal life through his skill as a plastic surgeon.

    George Henry Morley was born in Portsmouth, and he attended S t . Helens College, Southsea. In 1923 he Commenced his medical studies at the

    In 1965 he gave the Ruscoe Clarke Memorial Lecture in Birmingham, and became an Honorary Member, The Institute of Accident Surgery, Birmingham. The Lady Cade Medal for outstanding work was awarded to him in 1967. In 1944 he was appointed O.B.E., in 1961 C.B.E. (Mil.), and C.B.(Mil.) in 1968.

    George Morley as surgeon and colleague was an outstanding personality. He had a neat and logical mind, quick to appreciate a situation, when he would never hesitate to state his opinion, which at times might nettle his associates, but he was always at pains to listen and dispel any suggestion of not

  • FOLEY AND McGRATH : VESICOVAGINAL FISTULA 70 1 appreciating the views of others. He was to a degree a perfectionist both in his surgery and in his adminis- trative capacity. To see George operate on de- formities of the hands or the eyelids was to see an artist at work, and the gratitude of his numerous patients was shown in the respect and close friendship he enjoyed amongst members of the Guinea Pig Club. His reputation as a plastic surgeon resulted in George operating in recent years on two very senior officers of the West German Air Force who had facial deformities resulting from burns incurred in aircraft crashes in 1945. He wrote a lucid and concise report that would have been the envy of a staff college lecturer, never missing a pertinent detail, and thus he became a valued member of many official committees. For some considerable time prior to his death he had dedicated himself to his work as a Member of the Armed Forces Advisory Committee on Postgraduate Medical and Dental Education. His fairness and understanding of problems in dealing with his juniors will always be remembered by many with gratitude. The surgeons to whom he taught the art of plastic surgery will remember him with pride and affection for the example he set them by his judgement, sympathy, and understanding, and many a consultant will now look back with gratitude to George Morley.

    He had a full life in every way. I n addition to his Service duties he found time to write many scientific articles. Amongst these were: Flexor Tendon Injuries-Review of Results , published in the British Journal of Plastic Surgery in 1956, First Aid and Early Treatment of Burns in the R.A.F. in 1958, and Si Monumentum requires Circumspice; Plastic Surgery in War and Peace, published in the Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons in 1963. He was very widely read and his retentive memory enabled him at all times to find an apt quotation which enriched his conversation and his teaching. He was an active member of his church in Wendover, and took a great interest in the local St. Johns Ambulance Brigade, becoming President of the Wendover cadets branch in 1966. George had some fascinating hobbies, one of which was motor-cars. He could literally strip a car engine with the same delicate touch, finesse, and attention to detail that he showed in the operating theatre. He was fond of repairing and renovating antique furniture, with results which could not be bettered by the best craftsman.

    In 1944 he married Miss Kathleen Joan Elizabeth Green, who survives him with their two children. To Mrs. Morley and the family we extend our deep sympathy.





    A case of vesicovaginal fistula presenting 18 months after operation for rectal carcinoma is reported and a simple technique for closing the fistula is described.

    VESICOVAGINAL fistula is an infrequent complication of the surgical management of rectal carcinoma. This case report presents some unusual features which are considered worth while recording for further dis- cussion.

    CASE REPORT Mrs. C. P., aged 53, was referred to the gynaecological

    out-patients department by her general practitioner with 49

    a diagnosis of vesicovaginal fistula which was based on a history of persistent incontinence for the preceding 2 weeks.

    PAST HIsToRY.-Eighteen months previously, in February, 1967, she had been admitted to hospital as an emergency with a history of intermittent abdominal pain which had become more severe during the previous week. Assessment of the history and clinical findings suggested the diagnosis of peritonitis, which was subsequently con- firmed at laparotomy and discovered to be originating from a pelvic abscess due to a rectal carcinoma situated above the peritoneal reflection. An iliac loop colostomy was performed, the pelvis was drained, and a biopsy was taken from the tumour.

    Her recovery from this operation was complicated by an episode of bronchopneumonia which responded quickly