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Platt, Sir Harry (1886-1986)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0114 MS0070
Held at: Royal College of Surgeons of England
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Full title: Platt, Sir Harry (1886-1986)
Date(s): 1968-1986
Level of description: Collection (fonds)
Extent: 1 box
Name of creator(s): Platt | Sir | Harry | 1886-1986 | 1st Baronet | surgeon


Administrative/Biographical history:

Sir Harry Platt was born in Thornham, Lancashire, in 1886. At the age of five he developed tuberculosis of the knee. He was educated in classics and languages by home tutors. He graduated MB BS (London) from the University of Manchester in 1909, with a distinction in medicine and the gold medal in surgery. He obtained his FRCS in 1912 and was appointed resident surgical officer in the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital, London. During World War One, due to his knee disability, he was made a captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps Territorial Forces, in charge of the Military Orthopaedic Centre in Manchester. He joined the staff of the Shropshire Orthopaedic Hospital in Oswestry in 1920. He became surgical director of the Ethel Hedley Hospital in Windermere; consultant to the Lancashire county council for education, public health, and tuberculosis; and a lecturer in orthopaedic surgery to the University of Manchester. The Manchester Royal Infirmary established an orthopaedic department away from the control of general surgery and Platt transferred there in 1932. Manchester University recognized his outstanding academic contribution to orthopaedics by creating a personal chair for him in 1939, which he held until 1951. Having helped found the British Orthopaedic Association in 1917, Platt became its President (1934-1935). He was also President of the Royal Society of Medicine orthopaedics section in 1931-1932 and British delegate (1929-1948) and later President (1948-1953) of the international committee of the Société Internationale de Chirurgie Orthopédique et de Traumatologie. He served on the council of the Royal College of Surgeons of England (1940-1958) and was its President in 1954-1957. He was knighted in 1948 because of this work. He was consultant adviser in orthopaedic surgery to the Ministry of Health (1940-1963), organising general orthopaedics and special fracture and peripheral nerve injury centres as well as being honorary civilian consultant to the Army Medical Services (1942-1954). Platt was actively involved in setting up the National Health Service before and after 1948. In 1958 Platt was made a baronet, as was then customary for Presidents of the Royal College of Surgeons. He received six honorary degrees and held sixteen honorary memberships of various societies and eight honorary fellowships of surgical colleges. Up to 1982 he wrote prolifically on orthopaedic subjects-their history, organisation, staffing, nursing, and education. He died in 1986.


Scope and content/abstract:

Papers of Sir Alfred Platt, 1968-1986, comprising typescript and photographs relating to The Story of the Manchester Surgical Society, 1970-1971; diaries of trips to the United States of America 1928 and 1946, 1978; typsescript of the lecture The romance of surgery: The Manchester Ship Canal and the birth of accident services, 1968; copy of a postcard to Leslie Turner (FRCS) concerning arrangements for the centenary celebration, 1986; and a presentational folder titled The Transatlantic Connection 1913-1986: A Tribute to Sir Harry Platt by Allan M McKelvie, 7 Oct 1986.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

As outlined in Scope and Content.

Conditions governing access:

By written appointment.

Conditions governing reproduction:

At the discretion of the librarian.

Finding aids:

Additional manuscripts catalogue.

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

The collection was deposited by Sir Harry Platt, and after his death, by Leslie Turner (FRCS), 1973-1987.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Letter from Sir Harry Platt to the College dated 25 Nov 1976, presenting an autograph letter of Alfred Edward Webb-Johnson. Kept with the Webb-Johnson letter. Accession: Add Mss 455.

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:
Compiled by Anya Turner.
Source: Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

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:
Aug 2008

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