University of Otago Otago Medical School Alumni Association

Obituary - Dr Dorothy Kelly (née Smith)

Dr Dorothy Barnard Kelly died in Wimbledon on Sunday, 11 January 2009 aged 101.

Dorothy Kelly

Dr Dorothy Kelly (née Smith)

Dr Smith was the daughter of Thomas Waldock Smith (1874-1953) accountant, and his wife Deborah McAdam (1875-1935), and she was born at Petone, in Wellington, New Zealand, on 28 August 1907.

After attending Wellington Girls School, where she was awarded first a three-year Junior National Scholarship in 1921 and then a senior one in 1922, she attended the University of Otago Medical School from March 1925 to December 1929.

Dorothy was awarded the degrees of Bachelor of Surgery, University of New Zealand and Bachelor of Medicine on 17 July 1930. She later worked at the Waikato Hospital, Hamilton (1931), the Auckland Hospital and the District Hospital, Whangarei (1932). Moving to England, she finished her training at the Elizabeth Garrett Anderson Hospital in London, and worked in London's Queen's Hospital for Children in 1933.

She also studied physiology and anatomy at London's University College Hospital where she met her old tutors from Otago University. They were assisting the pioneering plastic surgeons Sir Archibald McIndoe (1900-1960) and his cousin Sir Harold Gillies (1882-1960).

In April 1934, she married Daniel Kelly, then a Captain in the Indian Medical Service who came from co. Roscommon in Ireland. They had two children, a boy and a girl. Dorothy followed her husband to India where she joined the Royal Army Medical Corps, eventually gaining the honorary rank of Major and being made M.B.E. However, the couple separated and she returned to England, eventually going into partnership in 1958 as a GP.

One of her partners was Dr. Ilse Friedheim (d. October 1990 aged 89 years) a German Jewish refugee she had originally met in India. The senior partner was the redoubtable and well-connected Dr. Norah Trouton (1893-1988). She had qualified as early as 1918 at London University as an M.R.C.S. and had also worked some years in India. Dr Kelly continued the practice, in Battersea's Albert Bridge Road until her retirement in 1988. Living for the most part alone in Battersea she later had to move to an old people's home in Wimbledon when she had a stroke in early 2004.

Dr Kelly leaves her son and daughter, five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. She was buried in Hendon Cemetery, London on Wednesday 29 January.

Mark Thomas, Grandson
January 2009