Dr Raymond Ebenezer Apperly

Personal Details

Dr Raymond Ebenezer Apperly

07/07/1883 to 29/01/1960

Place of birth: Stroud, Gloucestershire

Nationality: British

CRN: 715237

Education and qualifications

General education

Mill Hill School; Middlesex Hospital Medical School where he won the Lyell Gold Medal and Scholarship in Surgery

Primary medical qualification(s)


Initial Fellowship and type

FFARCS by Election

Year of Fellowship


Other qualification(s)


Professional life and career

Postgraduate career

After house officer posts in medicine, surgery and obstetrics at the Middlesex, Apperly considered a career in general practice. However, he was persuaded otherwise by his surgical chief, Sir John Bland-Sutton, and they formed a long-standing working relationship after Apperly was elected to the staff of the hospital as honorary anaesthetist in 1910. He also had an honorary appointment at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital, and served as a specialist anaesthetist in the RAMC during WW1 (Gazetted Captain, 3rd London General Hospital in 1914). He returned to the Middlesex after the war and retired in 1943.


Professional interests and activities

An excellent clinician, Apperly was the first at the Middlesex to diagnose acute pancreatitis pre-operatively, one of the first anaesthetists in Britain to visit his patients the day before surgery, and an expert in the use of chloroform. Unusually for a British anaesthetist of the period he was described as a “master of the art of regional anaesthesia”, visiting Vienna, Innsbruck & Zurich to improve his technique, and specifically the UK pioneer of posterior splanchnic block. While not a researcher, he had published on anaesthesia before WW1, kept up with advances in the specialty, was President of the Section of Anaesthetics at the BMA Annual Meeting in Winnipeg in 1930, and was awarded the DA ‘without examnation’ in 1935.

Other biographical information

Apperly worked with many leading London surgeons, this often taking him far afield. As a lover of good food and a connoisseur of wine he came to know all the best inns within a hundred miles of the capital! He was also a lover of good literature, a great Churchman and one whose qualities were directed to the best interests of others although his restless temperament did lead him to become ‘bored’ with a gastrectomy which took more than 50 minutes – how things have changed! He retired after suffering a coronary thrombosis and moved back to enjoy the hills and dales of his native Cotswolds, his London home suffering bomb damage at about the same time.

Author and Sources

Prof Tony Wildsmith

Sources and any other comments: Obituaries - Anaesthesia 1960; 15: 196-8 & BMJ 1960; 1: 430-1 plus Medical Directory