Lives of the fellows

Valentine Darte Logue

b.1 November 1913 d.28 December 2000
MB BS Lond(1936) MRCP(1938) FRCS(1938) FRCP(1969)

Valentine Logue was to his medical neurological colleagues without question the neurologists' neurosurgeon. Having been trained in a period when clinical neurological diagnosis was the key to diagnosis and therefore, in appropriate cases, the key to surgical treatment, he came to excel in diagnostic acumen. Thus, his neurological physical examination of a patient might not infrequently alter wholly the management of a particular case.

He was born in Perth, Western Australia and in 1922 his family moved to London. His father was a pioneer in speech therapy and apparently was of crucial importance in training King George VI to overcome a speech impediment so that, after the abdication of his brother, the monarch valiantly and with great distinction fulfilled his duties as a public speaker.

Valentine Logue qualified at St George's in 1936 and qualified both as MRCP and FRCS. His neurosurgical apprenticeship was served with Wylie McKissock, who was neurosurgeon to Atkinson Morley's Hospital as well as to the National Hospital, Queen Square, and to Maida Vale Hospital. Following war time service abroad, he came back to London and also visited several centres in North America. He was appointed consultant neurosurgeon at Atkinson Morley's Hospital and Maida Vale in 1948.

He developed not only huge technical expertise but also a serious interest in neurosurgery as an academic branch of medicine. In 1957 he left Atkinson Morley's in order to set up an academic neurosurgical unit at the Middlesex Hospital and in 1965 was appointed as director of neurosurgical studies at the National Hospital, Queen Square. Subsequently, in 1974, as a result of an endowment from the Gough Cooper family, he was able to establish the first university chair of neurosurgery in England. Valentine Logue retired in 1977 and subsequently the department he founded has flourished.

During his own professional career he made many clinical discoveries and invented or improved many neurosurgical procedures. Thus, the concept of the spinal venous arterial malformation and its relatively simple and effective treatment springs from him. The 'Logue' procedure for ruptured anterior communicating artery aneurysm, in the tradition of Hunter and others, was a relatively safe and effective treatment before the operating microscope enabled almost all neurosurgeons to see rather than feel their way in the anterior cerebral circulation.

He also made important contributions in syringomyelia, and cervical spondylosis and myelopathy. He accumulated a very large series of meningiomas, operated mostly with good results. He was honest to a fault in presenting his surgical results.

In his retirement he discovered many pursuits and other human activities. He took up bird watching, and, a few years after his retirement, was able to tell me that he could converse freely with many of his co-ornithologists on 48 hour bus rides to Romania better than with many of his colleagues and trainees. This tells us he was not a cold man but rather a shy one.

He fulfilled many important functions in the neurosurgical field and was president of the Society of British Neurological Surgeons in 1974.

Valentine Logue is survived by Anne, whom he married in 1944.

David G T Thomas

(Volume XI, page 343)

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