Dr Ruth Evelyn Mansfield

Personal Details

Dr Ruth Evelyn Mansfield MBE FFARCS MRCS LRCP DA

01/08/1902 to 10/12/1994

Place of birth: Lambeth, London

Nationality: British

Maiden name: Webster

Also known as: 'Mrs M' to colleagues

CRN: 509619

Education and qualifications

General education

Streatham and Clapham High School for Girls; King’s College, London; Westminster Hospital Medical School (one of the first women to study there)

Primary medical qualification(s)


Initial Fellowship and type

FFARCS by Election

Year of Fellowship


Other qualification(s)

DA(RCP&S), 1936

Professional life and career

Postgraduate career

Pregnant with her first child when she qualified, Dr Mansfield spent the next few years focused on her family, starting her anaesthetic career working as house anaesthetist at the Westminster from 1933 to 1936, and inspired to continue in the specialty by Ivan Magill. She then became honorary anaesthetist to Battersea General Hospital, house anaesthetist at the Royal Dental Hospital, and anaesthetist to the British Dental Hospital. During WW2 she worked at the Croydon & Battersea, Royal Waterloo Women & Children’s, British Dental and Brompton Hospitals, and later at Horton EMS Hospital. With the inception of the NHS she became consultant at the Brompton, Milford Chest, King George V (Godalming), and King Edward VII (Midhurst), Hospitals, contributing to the management of the latter there, and retiring in 1967.

Professional interests and activities

Thoracic and Cardiac anaesthesia were major interests, and in 1967 she co-authored ‘Practical Anaesthesia for Lung Surgery’. A religious woman, she undertook special secondments overseas while still working in the NHS and then, after her ‘retirement’, worked in Vellore, India for many years. In 1977 she was awarded the MBE for her work in India.

Other biographical information

Married Leonard in 1925, and they had a son (a GP) and a daughter. She loved gardening, travel, tennis (into her 70s) and swimming (into her 80s). She received the AAGBI’s Pask Certificate in 1986, and honorary membership of the History of Anaesthesia Society in 1994.

Author and Sources

Author: Prof Tony Wildsmith

Sources and any other comments: [1] ‘Boulton’ Form  [2] Obituary. BMJ 1995; 310: 1064, where a photograph may be seen  [3] Howat DDC. Dr Ruth Mansfield – an appreciation. Proceedings of History of Anaesthesia Society 1994; 16: 90-1  [4] Ancestry.co.uk