Roger Michael HardistyIan Antrobus HarrisJohn PricePeter Remington WilsonBMJ 1997; 315 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.315.7113.955 (Published 11 October 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:955
Roger Michael Hardisty
Professor of paediatric haematology Institute of Child Health 1969-87 (b London 1922; q St Thomas's 1944; MD, FRCP), died of cancer of the stomach on 18 September 1997. After house jobs and national service in the Royal Army Medical Corps, Roger trained in clinical pathology at St Thomas's Hospital, concentrating on haematology and particularly the bleeding disorders. In 1958, after a short period at Cardiff and despite having had no formal training in paediatrics, he was appointed consultant haematologist to the Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street, and over the next 30 years built up the first paediatric haematology department in Britain. He trained many young paediatric haematologists and his department rapidly acquired a national and then an international reputation. His own interests were in platelets, both in haemostasis and in initiating the processes that lead to the formation of a blood clot. In addition he ran a major centre for the treatment of haemophilia and similar disorders, and also developed a major interest in the childhood leukaemias.
At the time of his appointment it was becoming clear that remissions might be obtained with various drugs, though initially these were short lived and relapse was inevitable. Roger became one of the prime movers in Britain to try to improve the length and quality of these remissions, using drugs in combination, or in sequence, or both. A large amount of this work was done under the auspices of the Medical Research Council's special working party, which he served firstly as its secretary and then chairman. Much of the success of these trials, which eventually resulted in a cure rate of about 70%, was due to Roger's input and to his obsessional care in ensuring that they were carried out meticulously and humanely. At his retirement a secretly arranged tea party was held in the boardroom at the hospital attended by the survivors of acute leukaemia whom he had treated. Roger also served as president of several haematological societies, was a notable editor of the British Journal of Haematology, and was well known abroad (being able to conduct seminars in both Danish and French). A shy intellectual, he was interested in reading, the theatre, and music, and in his retirement he took up bookbinding with the same obsessional care that he had previously devoted to his department. He leaves a wife, Jytte; a son and daughter; and four grandchildren.
[David Weatherall, Stephen Lock]
Ian Antrobus Harris
Government surgeon Brunei 1963-88 (b Adelaide 1920; q Adelaide 1949; FRACS, FRCSE; DSC), d 8 June 1997. He interrupted his medical studies to join the Australian Navy, later being seconded to the Royal Navy and serving in the North Sea and Mediterranean. He was awarded the DSC for services during the invasion of Anzio and mentioned in dispatches for services in the north Atlantic. After qualification he came to Edinburgh as reader in thoracic surgery and studied orthopaedics and trauma surgery. In 1963 he was appointed the first (and for many years the only) surgeon to the government of Brunei, where as well as providing a whole range of surgery he established an orthopaedic service of very high quality by training local doctors, nurses, and orderlies. On retirement he sailed his boat, mostly singlehanded, from Brunei to east Africa, and he paid several visits as surgeon to Lebowa and elsewhere in South Africa, despite severe coronary and valvular heart disease (subsequently brilliantly corrected in Edinburgh). He leaves a wife, Ursula, and a son and daughter, together with an older family from a previous marriage.
Former general practitioner Blackwater, Hampshire (b Gateshead 1917; q St Mary's 1940; MRCOG, FRCGP), died of aortic stenosis and cardiac failure on 9 July 1997. He spent the war years in the Royal Navy, at first on east coast convoys and later attached to the Fleet Air Arm. After the war he trained in obstetrics, but then decided to enter general practice at a time when competition was intense; his obstetric qualification enabled him to lead a field of nearly 100 applicants for a singlehanded practice, as the post included the medical care for a hostel for unmarried mothers. He opened a surgery in his home, at first consulting in his dining room. John was among the first to adopt total metric prescribing, writing papers about this years before the imperial system was abandoned. He was an early active member of the (Royal) College of General Practitioners, a trainer, and then medical adviser to a committee on adoption. Once his group practice team was established he had a major role in developing community services associated with the new “best buy” district general hospital in Camberley, and for some years was chairman of the district management team. John took a great interest in medical history and when he retired presented his collection of books and medical antiques to the postgraduate medical centre. In retirement he continued to pursue golf, bookbinding, opera, and cooking. He leaves a wife, Stella; a son and daughter; and five grandchildren.
Peter Remington Wilson
Former assistant secretary BMA and Medical Defence Union (b Ongar 1911, where his father, a founder of Ongar War Memorial Hospital, was a GP; q The London 1936), died of bronchopneumonia and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease on 10 August 1997. He first went into practice with Geoffrey Barber in Great Dunmow and then during the war served in the Royal Army Medical Corps, designing a physical development centre for the army. After the war he spent 20 years as a much loved GP in the Norfolk Broads before taking up a post with the BMA, where he was secretary to the Central Ethical Committee. He then worked for the Medical Defence Union. Predeceased by his second wife, Joan, he leaves four children and seven grandchildren.
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