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The Living Witness Programme

Observations from distinguished urologists who witnessed major innovations in techniques or equipment (this page originates from, and links to, the Virtual Museum)

Old microphone

The living witness programme aims to record the recollections and experiences of pioneering, but now retired, clinicians who have helped to shape the practice of modern urology.

These clincians will be interviewed and their recollections recorded for the education and enjoyment of contemporary and future urologists.

So far, four key urological figures from the recent past have been interviewed:

Professor John Blandy

Professor John Blandy

Professor Blandy was born in India; he trained in Oxford, at The London Hospital and at St Peter’s Hospital. He was one of the most influential forces in the popularisation of TURP in the UK.

John Blandy died on 23 July 2011, aged 83: click here to read his obituary by the President of BAUS, Mr Adrian Joyce.

The full interview with John Blandy was published in the British Journal of Medical and Surgical Urology 2011;4(4);135.

Play audio trackThe "battle" to introduce TURP

Mr John Wickham

John Wickham

John Wickham worked at Bart’s and at The Institute of Urology, London. He was a pioneer of PCNL and laparoscopic urology. He is also seen as one of the "godfathers" of robotic urological surgery.

The full interview with John Wickham was published in the British Journal of Medical and Surgical Urology 2012;5(3):111.

Play audio trackEarly experiments with lasers and ureteroscopes

Sir David Innes Williams

Sir David Innes Williams

Sir David Innes Williams was the first dedicated paediatric urologist. He was president of BAUS, of the RSM and of the BMA as well as Director of Postgraduate Medicine in London.

He died on 3 May 2013; click here to read his obituary by Professor Christopher Woodhouse.

The full interview with DI Williams was published in the British Journal of Medical and Surgical Urology 2011;4(2):52.

Play audio trackUrology after the end of the war

Professor Richard Turner-Warwick

Richard Turner Warwick

Professor Turner-Warwick studied in Oxford and at the Institute of Urology, London. He was a pioneer of functional urology and urodynamics.

He designed surgical instruments still in use and excelled in the field of reconstructive urology.

Play audio trackOn making his own instruments

For further information: see the article by Dominic Hodgson and Peter Thompson in the 2011 edition of De Historia Urologiae Europaeae 2011;18:15-26.