Dr Leslie Thomas Clarke

Personal Details 

Dr Leslie Thomas Clarke TD BSc MBChB FFARCS DA

18/05/1900 to 04/01/1963

Place of birth: Birmingham

Nationality: British

CRN: 715347

Also known as: Nobby

Education and qualifications

General education

St Philip’s Grammar School, Birmingham; Birmingham University

Primary medical qualification(s)

MBChB, Birmingham, 1923

Initial Fellowship and type

FFARCS by Election

Year of Fellowship


Other qualification(s)

BSc, Birmingham, 1920

Professional life and career

Postgraduate career

After house appointments at the Queen’s and Midland Nerve Hospitals in Birmingham Clarke was elected to the staff of the former as visiting anaesthetist in 1925; appointments as lecturer in anaesthetics for the university and visiting anaesthetist to other hospitals soon followed. A keen member of the TA he was mobilised with the 14th General Hospital as an anaesthetic specialist & tutor (1939-45), serving at Plymouth, France & Oxford before cardiac disease restricted him to ‘home duties’ from 1941. After WW2 he continued as lecturer to the University and eventually became senior anaesthetist to the United Birmingham Hospitals, posts he held until his death.

Professional interests and activities

On his appointment to the staff, a senior colleague welcomed him with words which illustrate an attitude to our specialty typical of 1925: “Well I wish you luck. To be an anaesthetist you must have money or else you must be a damned fool. And I know you have no money”! However, others supported him, and charm, hard work & advances in the specialty led to success. Known for “supreme competence as an anaesthettist“ he published widely and devised a number of instruments for both surgical and anaesthetic use. He was awarded the DA(RCP&S) ‘without examination in 1935.

Other biographical information

A devout Roman Catholic he was joint founder and sometime president of the Midland Catholic Medical Society, and also the Birmingham and District Guild of Catholic Scouts. He married Norah Mary Chapman in 1929, and they had five sons, one of whom became a surgeon, and their twins both became Dominican priests. Otherwise he enjoyed golf, fishing & gardening, but his greatest joy was said to be the company of others: he had an undending fund of anecdotes and organised many social events at the hospital.

Author and sources

Author: Prof Tony Wildsmith

Sources and any other comments: Obituary. BMJ 1963; 1: 547-8