Obituaries

Flora BridgeBarrie Alfred Ernest ChapmanAmiya Kumar ChatterjeeHugh Wordsworth CornfordCecil Francis CunniffeEdward Casburn DaviesJohn Harvey GreenJoseph Donovan HamlettRobert (“Bob”) HighRaymond Lowe KingFrederick LanceleyEdmond Rene LecutierAlastair William MaxwellMatthew Robert (“Matt”) Neely

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7136.1023 (Published 28 March 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:1023

Flora Bridge

Former consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Southend(b Rochdale 1906; q UCH 1929; FRCS), died after surgery for a recurrent facial squamous cell carcinoma on 10 December 1997. After several house jobs, including one at the Royal Cancer (now Marsden) Hospital, she went into practice with her husband in Chesterfield, but when he was away during the war moved to the recently built obstetric unit at Rochford Hospital. Here she helped set up a school for pupil midwives and created flying squads for home deliveries: under her care quadruplets were born and survived at a time went this was unusual. After the war both she and her colleague Miss E Whapham became consultants and the maternal death rate continued to fall and to be below the national average. Forty assistants who worked in the unit passed the MRCOG. She smoked a pipe, and enjoyed dancing, walking, and camping, and after retirement took up water colour painting. She leaves a son and daughter and two grandchildren.

[D F Reynolds]

Barrie Alfred Ernest Chapman

Former consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Royal Army Medical Corps (b Stroud 1934; q Bristol 1959; FRCOG), died suddenly during a church service on 28 December 1997. He had a distinguished career in many countries, serving in British Honduras, Hong Kong, and Nepal among others, retiring with the rank of full colonel. He took on the voluntary post of organist at St Paul's Church, Chipperfield, where he died. He leaves a second wife, Gill, four children, and two grandchildren.

[L A Lees]

Amiya Kumar Chatterjee


Former senior medical officer Medical Boarding Centre (respiratory diseases) Manchester (b Garhbeta, India, 1934; q Calcutta 1956; FRCPI, FFOM), d 19 December 1997. After qualifying he worked in respiratory diseases in India and Britain, becoming a medical officer in the Department of Health in 1979 and specialising in occupational chest medicine. He was an active member of the Manchester Durga Puja Committee and the Overseas Doctors Association. Fond of conversation, he spoke three Indian and four European languages. He leaves a wife, Ramola; two children (both doctors); and two grandchildren

[RupaDavid Bessant]

Hugh Wordsworth Cornford

Former general practitioner Cambridge (b Cambridge 1921; q Cambridge/St Bartholomew's 1947; MRCGP), d 30 December 1997. He was a member of a remarkable family: his mother, Frances, a renowned poet, was Charles Darwin's granddaughter, while his father, Francis, was professor of ancient philosophy at Cambridge. Hugh was a dedicated family doctor who believed passionately in the National Health Service. Although he took on a singlehanded practice in the west country for a few years, most of his life was spent in or near his beloved Cambridge. Here he developed a practice later centred on his former family home and called the Cornford House Medical Centre. He had a particular interest in the management of children with dyslexia and other learning difficulties. It was Hugh's antipathy to violence of any sort that led him to be a founder member, later treasurer, of the Medical Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons, on which he had a profound influence. Predeceased by his wife, he leaves three sons and three grandchildren.

[Martin Hartog]

Cecil Francis Cunniffe


Former consultant anaesthetist Blackburn and District Hospitals (b Longford, Irish Republic 1921; q UCD 1945; FFARCSI), d 19 November 1996. He followed his house jobs with a general practice assistantship in Kent, where he undertook anaesthetic sessions at the local cottage hospital. He followed this with an anaesthetic post in Preston. At Blackburn he was active in postgraduate teaching and his meticulous handwritten notes were a joy to behold. A keen follower of sport in any form, he was a skilled golfer who was very frustrated when cervical osteoarthritis began to limit his game. His knowledge of racing form was impressive, and on National Day he would frequently be found on the telephone giving tips to family members and associates. He was a eucharistic minister at St Joseph's Roman Catholic Church. He leaves a wife, Kathleen; three children (one a doctor); and six grandchildren.

[John G Cunniffe]

Edward Casburn Davies

Former general practitioner Llanybydder (b Carmarthenshire 1921; q Guy's 1945; DRCOG), died of myocardial infarction on 27 January 1998. After service in the Royal Air Force he returned to his native Wales, where as a fluent Welsh speaker he integrated fully into village life. He was a church warden and president of the Royal British Legion (Llanybydder branch) for many years. He loved the countryside and spent much of his leisure watching wild life. He leaves a wife, Valmai, two children, and one grandchild.

[T J Jones]

John Harvey Green

Former consultant orthopaedic surgeon Royal Salford Hospitals (b Anfield 1928; q Liverpool 1951; MChOrth, FRCSE), died in a domestic fire accident on 22 December 1997. After training at Liverpool he joined T Barlow and W Sayle-Creer at Manchester at the end of their professional careers, when major changes were being made in orthopaedic and traumatic practice. Harvey Green was a dedicated surgeon, fast, skilled, and very safe, being one of the last general orthopaedic surgeons whose primary love was children's orthopaedics. He was a private man, but far from iconoclastic, with time to look after his house and garden and support the arts, theatre, and opera in both Liverpool and Manchester. He leaves a wife, Maureen, and a daughter.

[P L Frank]

Joseph Donovan Hamlett

Consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Wrexham 1975-94 (b Stockport 1935; q Manchester (Bridge Prize) 1959; MD, FRCOG (Gold Medal in MRCOG), died of carcinoma of the prostate on 1 November 1997. After qualifying he pursued an academic career, studying ovarian neoplasia for his thesis and being appointed senior lecturer at Liverpool before being appointed a consultant three years later. He developed a keen interest in training and took on many overseas doctors, establishing lifelong friendships, while he will be remembered for developing the infertility services, of which he was justly proud. He became increasingly involved in the affairs of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, becoming a regional adviser, serving on several committees, and being elected a member of its council and an examiner. In retirement he was able to indulge himself in his cars, sailing, and Manchester City Football Club. He leaves a wife, Anne, and two sons.

[Robin Vlies]

Robert (“Bob”) High

Former general practitioner Haydon Bridge, Northumberland (b 1923; q Leeds 1948; DCH), died of ischaemic heart disease on 9 January 1998. After a house physicianship in Leeds he undertook a rotating internship at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital for Sick Children in London, and then entered general practice in Bradford. Subsequently he held locum appointments in New Zealand and worked as a ship's doctor on the voyage home. His, at times, uncompromising views were published in several forums, including World Medicine, epistles to the BBC's PM programme, and the national broadsheets. At an age when most are contemplating retirement he commissioned the design of a new health centre, complete with rejuvenated filing system and computerisation. He introduced appointment systems years before they became normal practice and espoused several prescient ideas about medical practice and green issues. He delighted in natural history and spent countless hours walking in the Northumberland countryside with his dog. Predeceased by his wife, he leaves three sons and a daughter.

[Alec High,Steven Ford]

Raymond Lowe King


General practitioner Bath 1963-95 (q Guy's 1959; FRCGP), died of malignant melanoma on 31 December 1997. He entered general practice after National Service in Germany and an obstetrics post; he retained an interest in obstetrics throughout his career. From the start he was interested in local issues and joined the local medical committee in 1967, fighting (successfully) the proposed closure of general practitioner maternity beds in the local hospital. He set up the first vocational training scheme in Bath, and the local trainers renamed themselves the “RegisSociety” in his honour. He then became the first Wessex regional adviser and examined for the Royal College of General Practitioners, later being one of three general practitioners invited to examine for the DRCOG. Ray initiated considerable research and audit, publishing several papers in the BMJ and elsewhere. Motivated by his strong Christian faith, he was on the council of the local hospice, and had the vision to spearhead the building of an award winning residential home for the elderly. In 1993 Ray took a six months' sabbatical comparing the care of the elderly in Bath's four “twintowns” in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Hungary, the results being published by the University of Bath. He leaves a wife, Veronica, three sons, and a daughter.

[Paul Booth]

Frederick Lanceley

Former consultant in genitourinary medicine in Merseyside, Chester, and Wrexham (b Liverpool 1913; q Liverpool 1936; MD), died of carcinoma of the prostate on 4 January 1998. He served in the Royal Army Medical Corps form 1939 to 1951 in Egypt, Italy, and Kenya, where he developed his special interest, completing his training in Manchester and Liverpool. He retained a lifelong interest in sport, and much to everybody's admiration took up jogging in his early 70s. A keen golfer in his middle years, in the course of one friendly game both he and his partner holed out in one in the same hole. He leaves a wife, Kay; three sons (one a doctor); and six grandchildren (one a medical student).

[M J Garrett]

Edmond Rene Lecutier

Former consultant thoracic surgeon Bradford and Wharfedale Hospitals (b Leeds 1919; q Leeds 1943; FRCS), died after heart surgery following a heart attack some weeks earlier on 14 November 1997. His service in the Royal Army Medical Corps with the 5th Indian Division in South East Asia Command brought him into contact with the Gurkhas, for whom he retained a lifelong admiration. Born of French parents he elected to take British nationality, but throughout his life maintained a love of France and its people, invariably spending his annual holidays travelling to every region of that country. He leaves a wife, Angila; two daughters and a son; and four grandchildren.

[Angila Lecutier]

Alastair William Maxwell

Consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Nottingham, Grantham, and Newark hospitals 1963-90 (b 1927; q Edinburgh 1950; FRCSE, FRCOG), died of a cardiac event one year after a myocardial infarction on 1 December 1997. After house jobs he spent two years in the Royal Navy, serving mainly in HMS Illustrious. He served on the Central Committee for Hospital Medical Services, was a founder member of the Central Manpower Committee, and was a regional adviser. He examined for his college and was chairman of its investment advisory committee until his death. A man of considerable determination, he was relaxed at the Gynaecological Club, and was much in demand as an after dinner speaker. He played golf competitively and successfully completed two London marathons aged 61 and 64. He retired to his native Fife, where he spent his time gardening, computing, and reading. He leaves a wife, Celia (a doctor); a son (a cardiologist) and a daughter; and two grandchildren.

[Paul Edington]

Matthew Robert (“Matt”) Neely


Former consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Ulster Hospital, Dundonald (b Co Antrim 1919; q Belfast (honours) 1942; FRCSE, FRCOG), died of bronchopneumonia on 19 October 1997. The son of a police officer he went to medical school largely supported by a scholarship. He served in the Royal Navy in the north Atlantic and at the landings in Sicily and Anzio in the Mediterranean campaign. An outstanding rugby player since his schooldays, he was capped for the Combined Services and Ireland, but gave up his place to devote all his energy to being senior tutor in the Royal Maternity Hospital. After a singlehanded consultant post in Newry he was appointed to the newly opened Ulster Hospital in 1962, building up an excellent obstetric unit. He leaves a wife, Jean (also a doctor); four daughters; and five grandchildren.

[A McCalister]

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