Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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LEWIS , EMLYN EVANS ( 1905 - 1969 ), plastic surgeon ;

b. in Pennsylvania 10 Apr. 1905 . While still young he was brought to Wales by his mother and he received his education at Monmouth School and then went to London to study medicine at St. Mary's Hospital . He was regarded there as the most brilliant student of his year and Qualified M.R.C.S. , L.R.C.P. in 1929 and F.R.C.S. in 1933 . After acquiring extensive experience in general surgery he decided to specialise in plastic surgery . He gave exceptionally valuable service at the centre at Gloucester when treating airmen suffering from extensive burns received during World War I . The centre was transferred to St. Lawrence Hospital at Chepstow in 1948 , and came under the administration of the Welsh Hospital Board . Lewis spent the remainder of his distinguished career in full charge of this Special Unit, and combined his responsibilities there with extra duties as consultant to various hospitals in Cardiff , including the Royal Infirmary . The excellent reputation of St. Lawrence Hospital extended throughout south and west Wales , and his skill and experience in the treatment of burns proved of inestimable value to miners and steel workers , who were particularly exposed to such hazards. He was an exceptionally talented pioneer and an untiring worker in his chosen field, and was greatly respected throughout the United Kingdom . Furthermore, he was a remarkably capable and determined administrator , and a persuasive lecturer .

Lewis was a man of short, stocky physique and an enthusiastic footballer — an activity that determined the shape of his nose. It was the recurrent damage to that organ that engendered his initial interest in plastic surgery . His kindness was legendary and his memory faultless. He was an avid collector of period clocks , and eventually became a very knowledgeable horologist . He was also a keen Freemason , being master of several lodges . He d. in Cardiff Royal Infirmary , 14 May 1969 , and was survived by his wife ( Mary Cooper , when he m. 28 Oct. 1939 ) and daughter.


  • British Medical Journal , 1969 , 2, 518, 829;
  • The Lancet , 1969 , 1, 1107;
  • Lives of the Fellows of the Royal College of Surgeons , 1965-73 ;
  • personal knowledge.


Emyr Wyn Jones, M.D., F.R.C.P., (1907-99), Pwllheli / Liverpool

Published date: 2001