Dr Kenneth Bryn Thomas

Personal Details


30/09/1915 to 22/9/1978

Place of birth: Sutton, south west London

Nationality: British

CRN: 722647

Also known as: Bryn

Education and qualifications

General education

Initially in Sutton, later at Swansea Grammar School, winning trophies for singing, reciting& cello playing; pre-clinical studies at University College, Swansea; clinical at Charing Cross Hospital, London

Primary medical qualification(s)


Initial Fellowship and type

FFARCS by Election

Year of Fellowship


Other qualification(s)

DA(RCP&S), 1941

Professional life and career

Postgraduate career

He qualified just before the outbreak of WW2 and immediately enrolled in the Emergency Medical Service, working at Great Ormond Street Hospital. In 1940 he volunteered for the RAF and served at Hullavington, Bridgenorth (where he was designated a specialist anaesthetist) and Singapore towards the end of the war. Demobilised in 1946 he worked at Ashford Hospital, Middlesex until the following year when he was appointed a consultant to the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading, a post he held until his sudden death in 1978.

Professional interests and activities

Clinically he was a generalist, and he had a wide range of interests, medical & non-medical – he was described as a “polymath of dazzling virtuosity”. However, the history of medicine, and of anaesthesia in particular (he was one of the first in the UK to pursue it as a major topic) was his major focus.

Other biographical information

Bryn met his wife Nancy (Nan) while a student (she was reading French) in London, they had three children (a son & two daughters), and latterly lived in a beautiful house overlooking the Thames. His non-medical linterests included music, drama & literature.


Author and Sources

Author: Dr Robert Palmer

Sources and any other comments: Rollin HR. Kenneth Bryn Thomas – An appreciation. Proc Hist An Soc 1990; 7: 22-5 |