Henry Matthew John (Harry) WINDSOR

Henry Matthew John (Harry) Windsor, a remarkable figure in the field of thoracic surgery, left a lasting impact on the landscape of this specialty in Australia.

Born on 27 October 1914 in Cork, Ireland, to Irish parents, Harry ventured on a transformative journey that began with his arrival in Australia alongside his mother in 1916.

Throughout his educational pursuits across various institutions, Harry laid the foundation for his future accomplishments.

During World War II, his unwavering dedication guided him to serve in the Australian Army Medical Corps, where he garnered invaluable experience in medical work in New Guinea.

Following the war, Harry returned to Australia and cemented his position as a distinguished surgeon specializing in thoracic surgery at St Vincent’s Public Hospital. There, and aided by his two extraordinary protégés, Mark Shanahan and Victor Chang, Windsor was the Australian pioneer of cardiac valvular surgery, hypothermia surgery, cardiac valve replacement, coronary artery grafting, and heart transplantation.

Notably, his instrumental role in establishing the 100-bed Cameron Wing, affectionately known as ‘Windsor Castle,’ within the hospital in 1960 stands as a testament to his enduring influence.

Harry Windsor’s expertise was internationally recognized when he was elected a fellow of the American College of Surgeons in 1963, further solidifying his impact in the field. Beyond his surgical accomplishments, Harry was deeply respected by his patients for his compassionate care.

In October 1968, under his guidance, the first Australian cardiac transplant took place, marking a remarkable milestone in medical history.

Although he retired from St Vincent’s Public Hospital and operative surgery in October 1979, the legacy of Harry Windsor continues to shape the field of thoracic surgery in Australia, serving as an inspiration for future generations of medical professionals.

Source: TROVE, National Library of Australia Newspaper Collection
Source: NSW State Archives Collection
Source: National Archives of Australia
Source: Australian Dictionary of Biography