Victor Griffiths

BMJ 2014; 348 doi: (Published 19 May 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g3239
  1. Frederick Fenech

Victor Griffiths, one of Malta’s most gifted medical personalities, died at the age of 93. He qualified MD in 1942, being the top student of his year. In 1945 he proceeded to the UK on a government scholarship and obtained the FRCS (Eng) in the same year. In London, he worked with the top surgeons at Hammersmith Hospital, trained as a general surgeon, and also developed an interest in thoracic surgery. He returned to Malta in 1947 and was appointed consultant surgeon in the local health service. He was an instinctive clinician and he quickly acquired a well deserved reputation as an accomplished surgeon and an excellent teacher. It was not surprising that he was appointed professor of anatomy in 1953 and professor of surgery at the Royal University of Malta in 1969. He was held in high esteem by the whole medical profession and highly respected by Maltese society. He played a prominent part in the development of the medical school throughout his membership of the faculty board and during his period as dean. When I followed him as dean, he had already started to introduce changes in medical training to put this in line with modern trends. He was for many years president of the Malta Branch of the BMA and was made a fellow of the BMA. In 1998, Malta’s government honoured him by making him an officer of the Order of Merit (UOM) for his services to medicine in Malta.

Victor Griffiths had many interests outside medicine. He was a student of Maltese history and a great lover of classical music. An Anglophile throughout his life, he was founder member of the British Cultural Association and later on its chairman. He was made an honorary MBE for promoting relations between the UK and Malta in medicine, culture, and education. He remained active in his later years, as university ombudsman and as editor of the journal Bold, the quarterly journal of the United Nation Institute of Ageing, which was based in Malta.

Victor Griffiths, although he was a man of few words, had considerable intellect, and I, who knew him and worked with him at university and beyond for over 50 years, have lost a dear friend, a man of integrity, high principles, and common sense.

He leaves to mourn his wife, Mary, a medical doctor who qualified MD with him, and who was with him all the time, supporting him; his son, William, a GP in England; and his daughter, Margaret.


Cite this as: BMJ 2014;348:g3239


  • Emeritus professor of surgery University of Malta (b 1920; q Royal University of Malta 1942; MBE, UOM, MD, FRCS), d 28 March, 2014.

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