The PioneersThe MilitaryReferences

Abraham Colles 1773-1843


Colles was born at Kilkenny in Ireland and became one of the most recognisable names in Orthopaedic Surgery. It is said that during his attendance at Kilkenny Grammar School a flood swept part of the house of a local doctor away.

An anatomy book was found by Colles in a field near his home. When he took the book to the doctor, Dr Butler, Butler told him to keep it, and it was this incident that influenced Colles' choice of future profession. (It could be an old Irish Tale) 249 It has been said that Colles in order to get from Edinburgh to London (where he obtained a Medical Degree) walked the 400 or so miles.

When in London, he worked with Sir Ashley Cooper who was to become a very good friend.

In 1804 he was appointed professor of both anatomy/physiology and surgery. at the Royal College of Surgeons (Ireland), to which he was later elected president in 1802, at the age of only 29 years, and again in 1830.

Colles was both generous and modest. A competent lecturer he contributed to making his college one of the most respected in Europe for a couple of decades. During his year in Dublin, Colles marries Sofia Cope. He had several children and his oldest son followed in his fathers footpaths, in his turn even he being elected to president of the Royal College of Surgeons.

He spent most of his working life at a practice in Dublin and is looked upon with admiration from orthopaedic surgeons throughout the world. Everybody understands the term Colles Fracture.

 

 

 

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