Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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WILLIAMS , OWEN HERBERT ( 1884 - 1962 ), surgeon and Professor of Surgery ;

b. 2 Jan. 1884 at Bodrwnsiwn , Llanfaelog , Anglesey , s. of Owen and Jane Williams , of a farming family. The father died before his son had reached his first birthday, and all his life he paid tribute to his mother's untiring efforts to secure an education for her son. After his primary education at Llanfaelog school he attended the grammar school at Beaumaris and then went to the University of Edinburgh to study medicine where he graduated M.B. , Ch.B. , 1906 , and became an F.R.C.S. (Edinburgh) in 1909 and an F.R.C.S. (England) in 1923 . His connections with the Royal Southern Infirmary , Liverpool started in 1908 and continued without break (apart for a period with the R.A.M.C. during World War I ) until his retirement from his appointment as Senior Consultant Surgeon in 1945 . During his early years at Liverpool University he was a lecturer in anatomy and later a lecturer and then Professor of Surgery from 1939 to 1945 . He was a man of a kindly and gracious disposition and by virtue of his brilliant medical talents his name and that of the Infirmary became very well known throughout north Wales . He gave many years of service to the Wales Hospital Board and he took a prominent part in the affairs of the University College of North Wales , Bangor and was for a period a Vice-president . He also served on the Council of the Welsh School of Medicine . During his retirement he spent much of his time at Rhosneigr and he always regarded the Isle of Anglesey with much warmth and affection. In 1952 he was awarded an Hon. D.Sc. , by the University of Wales .

In 1916 he m. Ethel Kenrick Thomas , dau. of William Thomas , a shipowner from Liverpool . She was able to give him the invaluable support needed because of the frailty of his health during the last thirty years of his life. They had a daughter and two sons. He d. on 6 March 1962 at his home in Liverpool and was buried in the cemetery at Bryndu , Llanfaelog on 10 March 1962 .


  • British Medical Journal , 24 March 1962 ;
  • The Lancet , 24 March 1962 ;
  • personal knowledge.


Emyr Wyn Jones, M.D., F.R.C.P., (1907-99), Pwllheli / Liverpool

Published date: 2001