Obituaries

Lionel Maurice ClaydenHarvey Stephen BestermanDenis Charles BodenhamLeonard CapperMargaret Joan CashJames Rankin (“Jim”) DavisonNevill GibsonPieter Robert Geoffrey GrahamByron GriffithsWilliam HanksHenry Frederick HiscocksJohn Medwyn Hughes

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.314.7082.756 (Published 08 March 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:756

Lionel Maurice Clayden


Born Lionel Klusky into an immigrant Jewish family, as a boy he was inspired by observing a frock coated physician attending a casualty in the Mile End Road and, after witnessing his mother in status asthmaticus, his career was sealed. He won a scholarship to Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, but because of straitened family circumstances could not take it up, which was a lifelong disappointment. After he had qualified he felt that a change in name was imperative, given the backdrop of antisemitism and the Mosley riots. He volunteered for the Royal Army Medical Corps in 1939, serving until 1945, mostly in Malta, where he achieved the rank of acting major during the siege; on his return to Britain he weighed only seven stone. There followed a 45 year partnership in general practice in Highgate. Frustrated by what he perceived to be the prosaic nature of general practice, he developed a subcareer in dermatology at St John's Hospital for Diseases of the Skin. Army venereal disease parades had kindled an interest in skin diseases at a time when the two specialties were linked. He became a well known character on the north London locum consultant and clinical assistant circuit. He even taught dermatology on the MRCP course—an ironic appointment since he never gained this diploma himself. His outside interests included food and wine, politics (he was an unwavering socialist), and roses (nourished by hand hauled horse manure). He leaves a wife, Myra (he died on their 58th wedding anniversary); two sons (one a surgeon in Canada); a daughter; and six grandchildren, none of whom has a predilection for medicine—another source of frustration for a man with a passion to be patriarch to a dynasty of physicians.[Gerald Clayden, Judith Clayden, Antony Clayden]

Lionel Maurice Clayden, general practitioner Highgate 1945-90; b Bow, …

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