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Robert E Williams


1927 - 2004

Summarised from Plarr's "Lives of the Fellows Online"

Bob Williams was born on 18 December 1927 in Motherwell, Lanarkshire, the son of Robert Williams, a steelworker, and Janet McNeil. He was educated at Dalziel High School, Motherwell, and Glasgow Medical School. After house jobs in Glasgow he did his National Service in the RAMC, serving as resident medical officer to the Northumberland Fusiliers in Hong Kong. 

On his return, he received his general surgical training under Sir Charles Illingworth in Glasgow and John Goligher in Leeds, before deciding to specialise in urology, which in those days was emerging as a separate entity. He became senior registrar to Leslie Pyrah in Leeds, who had set up a pioneering stone clinic. There he carried out a painstaking and far-reaching study of the natural history of renal tract stone, which won him his MD. After this he went to work with Wyland Leadbetter at the Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, in 1964.  On his return he was appointed to the consultant staff of the University of Leeds urological department in 1966. 

Bob was President of the Section of Urology of the Royal Society of Medicine in 1989 and a very active member of BAUS, of which he was President from 1990 to 1992. He was awarded the St Peter’s medal of the Association in 1993.

A genial, cheerful and amusing colleague, Bob was struck down by chronic renal failure due to polycystic disease of the kidneys.  Despite this, he continued to work and publish, and to play an active part in BAUS, despite the need for regular dialysis. A renal transplant underwent rejection and he was, reluctantly, obliged to retire in 1991. He died on 26 August 2004.

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