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Copithorne, Richard Ernest Cornish (fl. 1933-1998), ship's surgeon: diary


About this work


Diary kept by Richard Ernest Cornish Copithorne, who was employed by Blue Funnel Line as a surgeon on cargo vessels between England and the Far East.



Physical description

2 volumes

Acquisition note

Purchased from David Batterham, January 1999.

Biographical note

Richard Ernest Cornish Copithorne trained at the Middlesex Hospital and was admitted M.R.C.S. and L.R.C.P. in 1933: at the time of these journals, therefore, he was in the early stages of his medical career.

Subsequent to his Far Eastern journeys he made his permanent home in Lowestoft but practised in London in the field of child health. In the course of his career he was Resident Medical Officer at the Queen's Hospital for Children, House Surgeon at the Paddington Green Chidren's Hospital and House Physician at the Middlesex Hospital. He became Principal Medical Officer for Schools Health for the London County Council (later for the Greater London Council when that body succeeded the LCC in 1965).

He did not publish extensively, but a letter from him to the Lancet on 22 March 1952 (Lancet 1952 i 618) sheds light on his career in child health, describing how he taught artificial resuscitation to Scout groups.

He was a Surgeon-Commander in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve, and a Fellow of the Royal Horticultural Society.

According to the Medical Directory he retired about 1968. He lived in Lowestoft for approximately another 30 years; although he is not listed in the Medical Directory's lists of deaths, and no published obituary has been located, he disappears from the Medical Directory after the 1998 volume and probably died during that year.

Finding aids

Database description transcribed from Richard Aspin and Christopher Hilton's typescript supplement to S.A.J Moorat's Catalogue of Western Manuscripts.


  • English

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