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: 










Local trusted journalism matters - now more than ever

As the Covid-19 pandemic brings the world into uncharted waters, Star Media journalists and photographers continue to report local stories that matter everyday - yours.

For more than 152 years our journalists have provided Cantabrians with local news that can be trusted. It’s more important now than ever to keep Cantabrians connected.

As our advertising has fallen during the pandemic, support from you our reader is crucial.

You can help us continue to provide local news you can trust simply by becoming a supporter.

Become a Supporter