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Biographical entry Girdlestone, Tharp Mountain (1823 - 1899)

Norfolk, United Kingdom
6 July 1899
Sunningdale, Berkshire, United Kingdom
sanitary reformer and Surgeon


Tharp Girdlestone was a surgeon who, after migrating to Australia, worked in several regional Victorian towns where he became involved in the management of local hospitals before being elected to the Victorian Parliament. He established a practice in Melbourne in 1862 and came to be regarded as 'probably the best surgeon in Melbourne'. Girdlestone played a central role in the management of the Melbourne and Alfred Hospitals, and served on the staff of the latter. He was outspoken on the poor sanitary conditions in Melbourne, and argued that Melbourne's water supply was polluted at its source. Among his medical innovations were the use of kangaroo tendon as suture material and the need for aseptic conditions for surgery.



Career position - Member, Royal College of Surgeons
Career position - Fellow, Royal College of Surgeons, United Kingdom
Life event - Migrated to Victoria
Career event - Registered with the Medical Board of Victoria
1861 - 1862
Career position - Mayor, Ararat Council, Victoria
1862 - 1866
Career position - Member of the Legislative Assembly of Victoria
1866 - 1870
Career position - Member, Melbourne Hospital Committee
Career position - President, Medical Society of Victoria
Career position - Founding Member, Executive Committee, Alfred Hospital
1868 - 1885
Career position - Medical officer (part-time), City of Melbourne
1871 - 1876
Career position - Honorary Surgeon and Chairman of medical staff, Alfred Hospital
1876 - 1883
Career position - Assistant Honorary Surgeon, Melbourne Hospital
1878 - 1883
Career position - Treasurer, Medical Society of Victoria
1879 - 1882
Career position - Member, Melbourne Hospital Committee

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Helen Cohn