Born Swansea, 7 March 1890, elder son of William Edwards, J.P. Educated at Mill Hill School, St. John's College, Cambridge, and Middlesex Hospital, London, where he was awarded the Senior Broderip and the University scholarships. Qualifying as a doctor in 1913 he obtained the higher degrees of M.Ch. and F.R.C.S. 1915. He served in the R.A.M.C. during World War I and rose to the rank of major. He was appointed assistant surgeon to Westminster Hospital, surgeon to the Brompton Hospital for Diseases of the Chest, surgeon to Queen Mary's Hospital, Roehampton, and thoracic surgeon to the London County Council. His main interest in his first years lay in gastro-intestinal surgery, but he became a pioneer in thoracic surgery. Chest surgery was not truly established until he operated successfully on cases of bronchiectasis, bronchial carcinoma and pulmonary tuberculosis. He was the first surgeon in Britain to remove a lobe of the lung and to remove a lung, and one of the first to operate for carcinoma of the oesophagus. He resigned from Westminster Hospital in 1930 to organise a department of thoracic surgery at London Hospital. Edwards was regarded as a most skilful surgeon and fine teacher and he gained an international reputation. In World War II, he became civilian adviser in thoracic surgery to the War Office and R.A.F. He wrote numerous articles, and was a founder of the journal Thorax. He delivered the Harveian Oration (1939), on bronchiectasis. Edwards was the first president of the Association for the Study of Diseases of the Chest, president of the Thoracic Society, and Hon. Fellow of the American Society of Thoracic Surgeons. He was awarded hon. degrees by Grenoble and Oslo universities. He married Evelyn Ime Ida Chichester, daughter of Dr Theo Hoskin, London. After a period of ill-health, he died at St. Enodoc, Cornwall, 25 August 1946.
Published date: 2001
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