- Anne Gulland, freelance journalist, London
Cyril Scurr, who has died aged 91, was a pioneering anaesthetist whose former colleagues and family have variously described as laconic, shy, and taciturn. He did not talk about his work or achievements, even refusing to discuss the time that he attended an operation at Buckingham Palace.⇑
Scurr was working as an anaesthetist at Westminster Hospital when in 1951, together with senior anaesthetic and surgical colleagues, he set up an operating theatre in Buckingham Palace and performed a lung operation on King George VI. Scurr provided continuous electrocardiogram monitoring throughout the procedure, and the monitor is now on display in the museum of the Association of Anaesthetists of Great Britain and Ireland. Scurr attended a reception at the palace and was awarded lieutenant of the royal Victorian order.
Scurr had two careers, as a practising anaesthetist, pioneering a scientific approach to his specialty, and as a medical politician. He was born in north London, studied at King’s College and Westminster Hospital …