The Travelling Surgical Society has visited most major European centres of surgical excellence, particularly in capital cities, since it was founded in 1924. It has also travelled behind the Iron Curtain, now thankfully disbanded.
The first countries to be visited were Holland, France, Switzerland, Germany, and Austria. In recent years the Society has spread its wings to Israel, South Africa, the United States, Australasia, and most recently China (including Hong Kong) which was visited with the Royal College of Surgeons.
The College also organised the one farthest afield, to South East Asia, where Singapore and Darwin were visited in 2004. Foreign visits have been undertaken almost every year since 1925, apart from a hiatus due to the Second World War and the experiment of two home visits in 1932/3.
In 1932, instead of crossing the Channel, the Society merely went over the border to Edinburgh and was so impressed that the following year it again confined itself to these shores, going to Newcastle on Tyne.
In 1958 it was decided to have two visits, one overseas and the other a home meeting (in Portsmouth). This arrangement is now well established annually and in the spring a week or moreis spent abroad, whilst in September a couple of days are spent at the workplace of one of the Society’s members.
Thus has the Society gained a truly cosmopolitan flavour of surgical practice throughout the United Kingdom as well as in Europe (as intended by the founders of the TSS) and subsequently indeed of the whole world though Russia, India, Canada and South America have yet to be visited, as have many smaller countries.
Those that have been visited are listed below, by country (in capitals) and town for the foreign and home meetings respectively. Further details are to be found in the sections on International Visits and Home Visits.
|Year||Overseas meeting||Home meeting|
|1924||Leeds (founding meeting with Lord Moynihan)|
|1929||AUSTRIA and Munich||–|
|1930||GERMANY and Strasbourg||–|
|1933||–||Newcastle upon Tyne|
|1934||SWEDEN and DENMARK||–|
|1947||–||Oxford (resurrection meeting)|
|1954||IRELAND (Dublin)||…and Belfast (in the Spring)|
|1970||HOLLAND||Royal Naval Hospital, Haslar|
|1971||LISBON (Autumn)||Newcastle (Spring)|
|1972||NORWAY||London (Westminster Hospital)|
|1975||HUNGARY||London (St. Bartholomew’s Hospital)|
|1977||–||London (Hammersmith Hospital in the Spring)|
|1980||FRANCE||London (Guy’s Hospital)|
|1983||HOLLAND||London (Middlesex Hospital)|
|1985||–||Lake District (Spring) and RAF Halton (Autumn)|
|1987||SPAIN and Gibraltar||London (Homerton Hospital)|
|1992||FRANCE||Royal Naval Hospital, Haslar|
|1993||HUNGARY||Bury St. Edmunds|
|1999||SOUTH AFRICA||London (St.Mark’s and St.Mary’s Hospitals)|
|2000||DENMARK and Malmo||Royal Naval Hospital, Haslar|
|2004||SINGAPORE and Darwin||Leeds|
|2007||CHINA and HONG KONG||London (extraordinary meeting February) & Salisbury (Autumn)|
|2009||ICELAND||Northwick Park / St Marks London|
|2010||CUBA and BARBADOS||Nottingham|