Author: Brown, Earle/ Klaassen, Michael F
Publication date: 16/02/2021
Imprint: Mary Egan Publishing
From country boy to internationally renowned plastic surgeon, from junior medical officer to Lieutenant Colonel in just four years, Perfection: the life and times of Sir William Manchester covers a life of achievement and service. Hailing from small beginnings in rural Waimate, William Manchester became a battalion medical officer with the New Zealand Army in the United Kingdom during World War II. Selected in 1941 to train as a plastic surgeon, serendipitously under the supervision of the great pioneers Gillies, McIndoe, Mowlem and Barron – all New Zealanders – he excelled in this evolving surgical craft. In 1942, after eleven months training, he was posted to No. 1 General Hospital, Helwan, Egypt, to establish a plastic surgery unit for wounded New Zealand soldiers. After two years in Egypt, Manchester was ordered to return to New Zealand, where he was instrumental in the development of the plastic surgery unit at Burwood Hospital in Christchurch, primarily for wounded soldiers but also for selected civilian patients. At the end of 1950, he established the plastic surgery unit at Middlemore Hospital in Auckland, where he trained generations of young surgeons and nurses, became a world expert on the multi-disciplinary management of cleft lip and palate as well as a leader and political mentor on the world stage of plastic and reconstructive surgery. This biography is based on the extensive archives left by Sir William, the authors’ research into his achievements and their personal knowledge of him, working with him as a trainee and colleague.