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Fairbank, Thomas John, 1912-1998 (Orthopaedic Surgeon)



(Thomas) John Fairbank was born on 26 June 1912. He was educated at the University of Cambridge and St. Thomas’ Hospital, qualifying in 1937. He then occupied junior posts at St Thomas’ including a period in the Orthopaedic Department before joining the Royal Army Medical Corps in September 1939. He served initially in France but from November 1940 he spent three years in Gibraltar as a surgical specialist before returning to France via the Normandy landings in 1944 in charge of a field surgical unit. After leaving the army in 1945 he undertook further training in orthopaedics at Manchester, Oxford and Alton, before being appointed consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Cambridge in 1948. He remained there for 30 years during which time a clinical medical school was established. He wrote numerous papers, but is best remembered for his article ‘Knee joint changes after meniscectomy’, published in 1948 which first described the degenerative changes occurring in the knee after excision of the meniscus. He married in 1946 Jeannine, who had trained as a nurse at St Thomas’, by whom he had four children. John Fairbank died on 4 April 1998. Source: The Journal of Bone & Joint Surgery; personal papers

Found in 1 Collection or Record:


The Papers of the Fairbank family

Reference Code: GBR/0012/MS Add.10082
Scope and Contents

The papers consist principally of letters, journals and photographs relating to the service of Harold Arthur Thomas Fairbank in the South African War and First World War, and of Thomas John Fairbank in the Second World War.

Dates: 1899-1945
Conditions Governing Access: The collection is open for researchers using Cambridge University Library.