From Canterbury farm boy to pioneering plastic surgeon

Sir William Maxwell Manchester. Photo: Timaru District Council
Sir William Maxwell Manchester. Photo: Timaru District Council
A new book chronicles the life of Sir William Manchester, who grew up on a farm in South Canterbury and served in the army during World War 2, training under some of the great plastic surgery pioneers - including New Zealander Sir Harold Gillies.

Upon his return to New Zealand, he was instrumental in the development of Burwood Hospital's burns unit, and later set up a plastic surgery unit at Middlemore Hospital in Auckland, going on to train generations of young surgeons and nurses.

The new book about his life, called Perfection: The Life and Times of Sir William Manchester, has been written by one of his students, Earle Brown, and one of Brown's students, Mike Klaassen.

Klaassen spoke to RNZ about Sir Bill's extraordinary life and legacy: 

 

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