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BROCK, Russell Claude (1903-1980)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0100 G/PP1/5
Held at: King's College London College Archives
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Full title: BROCK, Russell Claude (1903-1980)
Date(s): 1946-1974
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 5 files
Name of creator(s): Brock | Russell Claude | 1903-1980 | Baron Brock of Wimbledon | surgeon


Administrative/Biographical history:

Born in London, 1903, the son of Herbert Brock, a master photographer, and his wife, Elvina (nee Carman); educated at Haselridge Road School, Clapham, Christ's Hospital, Horsham. Entered Guy's Hospital Medical School in 1921 with an arts scholarship. Qualified LRCP (Lond.) and MRCS (Eng.) 1926, and graduated MB, BS (Lond.) with honours and distinction in medicine, surgery, and anatomy in 1927. Appointed demonstrator in anatomy and in pathology at Guy's and passed the final FRCS (Eng.) in 1929.
Elected to a Rockefeller travelling fellowship and worked in the surgical department of Evarts Graham at St. Louis, Missouri, 1929-30. Returned to Guy's as surgical registrar and tutor in 1932 and was appointed research fellow of the Association of Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland. He won the Jacksonian prize of the Royal College of Surgeons of England in 1935 and was elected a Hunterian professor in 1938. Appointments included consultant thoracic surgeon to the London County Council, 1935-46; surgeon to the Ministry of Pensions at Roehampton Hospital, 1936-45; surgeon to Guy's and the Brompton hospitals 1936-1968. During World War Two he was also thoracic surgeon and regional adviser in thoracic surgery to the Emergency Medical Service in the Guy's region.
At the time when cardiac surgery, and especially operations on the open heart, were developing apace, he played a major part in pioneering the surgical relief of mitral stenosis and of other valvular lesions of the heart. His introduction of the technique of direct correction of pulmonary artery stenosis was certainly inspired by exchange professorships between himself and Dr Alfred Blalock of Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore.
Served on the Council of the Royal College of Surgeons of England, 1949-1967, and as vice-president 1956-8 and president 1963-6, and director of department of surgical sciences established during his presidency. Delivered the Bradshaw lecture in 1957 and the Hunterian oration in 1961. Knighted, 1954 and elevated to a life peerage, 1965.
Awards and honours included President of the Thoracic Society of Great Britain and Ireland in 1952; the Society of Cardiovascular and Thoracic Surgeons of Great Britain and Ireland, and the Medical Society of London in 1958. Elected fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of London in 1965, and honorary fellow of the American College of Surgeons, 1949; the Brazilian College, 1952; the Australasian College, 1958; the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, 1965; the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada; and the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh, 1966. Recipient of the international Gairdner award, 1960-1, and appointed Lister medallist and orator, 1967. Also received honorary degrees from the universities of Hamburg (1962), Leeds (1965), Cambridge (1968), Guelph and Munich (1972).
Assistant editor of the Guy's Hospital Reports and later editor 1939-1960. He also contributed important papers on cardiac and thoracic surgery to medical and surgical journals and textbooks.
Outside his professional work he had considerable knowledge of old furniture and prints, and of the history of London Bridge and its environs, and was an eager student of medical history. Less well known was his dedication to the complementary interests of private medicine and the NHS, for he served on the governing body of Private Patients Plan and was chairman (1967-77) before becoming its president. He was responsible for the discovery and restoration of an eighteenth-century operating theatre which was formerly in the old St. Thomas's Hospital.
In 1927 married Germaine Louise Ladavèze (died 1978), they had three daughters, In 1979, married Chrissie Palmer Jones. Brock died in Guy's Hospital 3 September 1980.
Publications: The Anatomy of the Bronchial Tree, with special reference to the surgery of lung abscess (Oxford University Press: London, 1946, Second edition 1954); The Life and Work of Astley Cooper (E. & S. Livingstone: Edinburgh & London, 1952); Lung Abscess (Blackwell Scientific Publications: Oxford, 1952); The Anatomy of Congenital Pulmonary Stenosis (Cassell & Co.: London, 1957); and John Keats and Joseph Severn. the tragedy of the last illness, 1973.


Scope and content/abstract:

Files of correspondence relating to the restoration of the operating theatre of old St Thomas' Hospital, 1956-1963, and notes for articles concerning the history of the operating theatre, 1947-1974.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

As outlined in scope and content

Conditions governing access:

Open subject to signature of reader's undertaking form.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copies, subject to condition of the original, may be supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Director of Archive and Corporate Records Services.

Finding aids:

Detailed catalogue

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Transferred from Guy's Hospital Medical School Library in 2002.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Surgical notes Russell Claude Brock, (1903-1980), held at the Royal College of Surgeons of England.

National Register of Archives: Click here to view NRA record

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Sources: Dictionary of National Biography CD-ROM (Oxford University Press, 1995); British Library Public On-line catalogue; Historical Manuscripts Commission On-line National Register of Archives. Compiled by Alison Field.

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
February 2003

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