Historical information

Mark Cowley Lidwill was awarded an Honorary Fellowship in 1954 after his retirement to honour his working life.Mark Cowley Lidwill was born in England in 1878. His family moved to Melbourne in 1894. Lidwill studied medicine at the University of Melbourne, graduating with honours in 1902 and achieving a Doctorate in Medicine (MD) in 1905. Soon after graduation he moved to Sydney and in 1913 was appointed as the first lecturer in anaesthetics at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital. That year Lidwill became the first person in the world to catch a black marlin with rod and reel. The event was celebrated in newspapers throughout the country and the marlin skeleton is now on display at the Australia Museum. Lidwill was also the designer of a machine which could deliver anaesthesia mechanically. Compact and portable, the machine delivered precise, although variable, concentrations of ether.

Lidwill is also credited with developing the world’s first pacemaker. In a letter he wrote to Harry Daly in 1955, Lidwill was ambivalent about the fate of the machine: “No one would be bothered with it and they thought I was mad”.

Physical description

Printed certificate from the Faculty of Anaesthetists of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS) awarded to Mark Cowley Lidwill as an Honorary Fellowship. Printed in black ink at the top of the certificate is the RACS coat of arms. The certificate is dated 26 June 1954 and has been signed by Harold R Dew, President of the College, and other members of the executive.