Robert BallantineAndrew Niven Tildersley AikmanColin Munro BissetRobert Russell DicksonJohn Anthony HarringtonFrederic Sinclair JacksonAlan James MathamsRobert (“Sandy”)William Stewart MillerMichael Garrett (“Garry”) O'FlynnGrace Emily Woods

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 01 January 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:60

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Robert Ballantine

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Consultant anaesthetist St Bartholomew's Hospital, 1952-86 (b 1922; q Cambridge/St Bartholomew's 1946; FRCA), d 28 October 1999. Ballantine was a leading anaesthetist for more than three decades and anaesthetised many well known people, including Princess Margaret, the Princess Royal, Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, and Tom Jones. He was a keen sportsman at school and while at college considered a career in music, having formed several jazz bands at school and played drums in the college orchestra. At Cambridge he worked with the Footlights review and reformed a jazz band in the 1970s, called the Veterans, and continued to play from time to time. He served with the Home Guard at Cambridge, spending many nights on roof top firewatch duty during the V1 and V2 onslaught on London, and was sent to help with the wounded after D Day, where he was involved with early trials of penicillin. After working at Hillingdon and Harefield Hospitals he was appointed consultant anaesthetist at St Bartholomew's in 1952. He was particularly involved with anaesthesia for thoracic, neurological, and ear, nose, and throat surgery and wrote on these subjects. In 1956 he took a sabbatical as assistant professor at the Johnson Willis Hospital, Richmond, Virginia, but decided not to accept a full time post because his children were in the middle of their education. He taught anaesthetics at the University of London and at St Bartholomew's and received many invitations from outside Britain, including America and India, and he was awarded the Most Distinguished Order of Paduka Seri Laila Jasa of Brunei. With Ian Jackson he wrote the first textbook on neurosurgical anaesthesia, which became the standard text. He worked on the successful separation of Siamese twins in 1959, 1961, and 1964, the first such operations in the world. As the anaesthetist he was responsible for seeing patients the night before surgery. He performed this task well as he was a genuinely caring person and had a wonderful sense of humour. After retirement he pursued his interest in golf, gardening, and jazz, but he suffered from Parkinson's disease for a long time. He leaves a wife, Jill; twin sons and a daughter; and eight grandchildren.

[Giles Ballantine]

Andrew Niven Tildersley Aikman

Former general practitioner Melton Mowbray (b South Africa 1914; q Leeds 1939), died from a cerebral infarct on 3 May 1999. He started his education in the Transvaal, learning in Afrikaans, before his family returned to Britain in 1922. As a student in 1936 Andrew went to Berlin to compete at athletics with German medical students. He returned with a Nazi dagger and was mystified when his father confiscated it. After qualifying he joined the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve as a surgeon lieutenant and served in HMS Jackal under Mountbatten, whom he commented was a touch reckless with men's lives. As senior medical officer he had great difficulty certifying the captain of another ship in the flotilla when the stress proved too much for him. He was invalided out in 1941 and he and his wife found a vacancy for two doctors in Melton Mowbray. As with many other doctors they worked from home with only a tiny communal surgery, and Andrew took many surgeries in outlying villages. Malcolm Sergeant was the organist at his local church and often gave violin recitals. Andrew was a member of the Rotary, a knight of St John Ambulance, divisional surgeon at the local ironworks, and a member of Leicester and Nottingham medical associations. He retired in 1978 to indulge his love of opera and visited Munich and Bayreuth for the Wagner festivals for many years. He leaves a daughter; a son; and two grandsons.

[Elizabeth Aikman-Higgins]

Colin Munro Bisset

Former general practitioner and company doctor London (b Sheffield 1915; q Charing Cross 1941), d 21 November 1999. He served in the navy during the war in Bombay and on ships and held several positions in the NHS before setting up practices in Bloomsbury and Clerkenwell. When his father died he took over his Wimpole Street rooms and later worked as a company doctor. He was a private man, patient, urbane, and diligent, with a dry sense of humour. He had a deep religious conviction, which helped him during the terminal illness of his wife, Joan. There were no children of the marriage but he leaves a multitude of nephews and nieces, great nephews and nieces, two great great nephews, and two step sons.

[John Milman]

Robert Russell Dickson

Former general practitioner Long Ashton (b 1915; q St Bartholomew's 1940), d 14 October 1999. After house jobs he joined the Royal Navy and spent one and a half years in destroyers and then served in naval hospitals as a specialist anaesthetist. In 1947 he heard that the local practice was for sale and set up in general practice. For 16 years he ran a steadily growing practice single handedly. Domiciliary obstetrics, with many home deliveries, home visiting, many private patients, and dispensing kept him busy. He found cradle to the grave care of his fellow villagers very rewarding. After retirement he served on medical tribunals for 10 years. He painted, wrote poetry, and ruefully supported Bristol City football club. It was on one of his walks that he fell and died soon afterwards. Predeceased by one of his children and his wife, Dorothy, he leaves three children and six grand children.

[D W Barritt]

John Anthony Harrington

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Former consultant psychiatrist and medical director Uffculme Clinic, Birmingham (b Singapore 1922; q Cambridge/St Thomas's 1944; FRCP, FRCPsych), died from heart failure following emphysema on 8 November 1999. He served in the Royal Air Force in south east Asia and trained in public health before deciding on a career in psychiatry. When he moved to Birmingham in 1955 he helped to establish a new psychiatric research and early treatment clinic. After a travelling fellowship in the United States he took a keen interest in postgraduate education, and for many years was director of postgraduate psychiatric education in the West Midlands. He developed a scheme for employing women part time and this became a model for the rest of England. His special interest was psychotherapy and he helped to found the West Midlands Institute of Psychotherapy. His enthusiasm was contagious and he encouraged schemes for mental health promotion. Like Hippocrates he saw laughter as important psychologically. In the 1960s he set up a research team which looked into the problems of football hooliganism. The team's report foreshadowed later ones on the problem. He travelled widely, and enjoyed motor caravanning, birdwatching, and garden tours. He leaves a wife, Margaret, and two sons (one a general practitioner and the other a professor of child psychiatry).

[A C P Sims]

Frederic Sinclair Jackson

Former consultant cardiologist Newcastle (b Yorkshire 1914; q The London 1941; FRCP), died from heart failure on 23 September 1999 in Zimbabwe where he had spent his final years with one of his daughters. He graduated in mathematics and economics at Cambridge and started in banking but soon left this to study medicine. He joined the Royal Air Force in 1942 and served in India and Burma as medical officer to 17 Squadron. He returned to the London Hospital and did research into pulmonary oedema. In 1951 he was appointed cardiologist to Newcastle General Hospital where he played a key role in the development of cardiac investigation and cardiac surgery in the north east region. He was largely responsible for the establishment of a coronary care unit and became head of the cardiac department. Fred had a warm and generous nature, coloured by a certain eccentricity, and he loved the wild places of the world. He was an experienced mountaineer and climbed in the Alps, north and south America, and the Himalayas, and was a member of the Alpine Club. He was doctor to the expedition which attempted to climb Ama Dablam in 1959. He studied the effect of high altitude and hypoxia on the heart in mountaineers and reported this in the British Heart Journal. In 1964 he visited Bhutan as cardiologist to the king and returned on several visits. Predeceased by his wife, Joan, he leaves two daughters (one a doctor) and three grandchildren.

[John Cosh]

Alan James Mathams

General practitioner, Mayfield, East Sussex (b 1933; q Westminster 1977; FRCS, MRCGP), died in tragic circumstances on 17 November 1999. Alan worked long hours and was devoted to his patients. He had a bluff and ebullient, although sympathetic manner, and was hospitable, always the life and soul of the party—frequently one he had given himself. He greatly enjoyed his commitment to the Territorial Army, and served with the evacuation hospital in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf war. He recently spent two weeks in Gibraltar providing medical cover for an exercise. Alan enjoyed skiing and sailing, only failing to complete the Fastnet Race in 1985 because of a broken boom. He reached the finals of the Sussex bridge pairs in 1986. He leaves a wife, Penny, and two daughters.

[Tim Williams]

Robert (“Sandy”)William Stewart Miller

Former plastic surgeon with an interest in burns Sheffield (b Edinburgh 1924; q Edinburgh 1952; FRCS; TD), d 21 September 1999. Sandy spent his younger years in India where he suffered from polio. At the outbreak of the second world war he was commissioned into the Engineers and served in India. He returned to Edinburgh to study medicine. Mature students were a rarity and often a target for irascible teachers, so medical school was uncomfortable. Sandy developed an interest in plastic surgery and worked in Birmingham and Liverpool before moving to Sheffield. When he became a consultant in 1968 he took on responsibility for organising the treatment of burns and brought to the task all his military skills of organisation and documentation. He remained committed to burns management throughout his career, was a founder member of the British Burns Association, later becoming chairman, and held office in the International Society for Burns Injury. Outside medicine Sandy was active in the Territorial Army, becoming colonel of the 212 Field Hospital and honorary colonel on his retirement. He enjoyed trout fishing and travelling to exotic places, and he and his wife were involved with endurance horseriding. He never forgot his Scottish ancestry, seizing every opportunity to wear his kilt with full dress uniform, and he often carved the Christmas turkey on the wards at Fulwood Hospital in full regalia. His wife, Margaret (a former consultant anaesthetist) predeceased him.

[R E Page]

Michael Garrett (“Garry”) O'Flynn

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Former general practitioner Havant, Hampshire, 1946-81 (b Neath, Glamorgan, 1913; q St Mary's 1937), died from bronchopneumonia after a series of strokes over several years on 17 October 1999. He was inspired by his father and two aunts, all doctors, to study medicine. From 1940 to 1945 he served in the Royal West African Frontier Force and was mentioned in dispatches. He served in the east Africa campaign, regrouping in 1943 to embark on the Burma campaign as medical officer to 82 Division. Garry was one of the first GPs to realise the idea of amalgamating competing practices under the same roof to provide a better service. Today the practice has nine doctors. He was an old fashioned and autocratic doctor in the best sense. He refused to dispense drugs on demand and his junior colleagues now admit to benefitting from his stern injunctions. Garry had a full life outside medicine enjoying sailing, walking, music, painting, and gardening. Predeceased by his first wife, Biddy, he leaves his second wife, Margaret (a gynaecologist); five daughters; two step daughters; two step sons; and 15 grandchildren.

[Fiona Foley]

Grace Emily Woods

Former consultant paediatrician Regional Child Assessment Centre, Leeds (b 1912; q Royal Free Hospital 1936; DCH, DPH), died from old age after a long fight against secondaries from breast cancer on 22 September 1999. She moved to Bristol when her husband was appointed headmaster of Cotham Grammar School, and it was while working as clinical medical officer in a large council housing estate and as a clinical assistant at Bristol Royal Hospital for Sick Children that she became concerned about the lack of diagnostic and care provision for severely handicapped children. She carried out a 10 year survey to identify all children with cerebral palsy in the Bristol area and this became the subject of her MD thesis. She subsequently became a medical superintendent at a hospital for people with mental disabilities and provided a paediatric service to Claremont School, a day school for children with cerebral palsy. She followed up people from the school into adult life and well into her retirement. When her husband retired she was medical administrator to St Ebba's Hospital, Surrey, before moving to Leeds, which professionally was the most satisfying period of her life. She worked hard and researched new methods of assessment and treatment. She lectured in Britain and abroad and wrote several books. After retirement Grace travelled to South America, the Himalayas, and China, despite several episodes of painful illness, and helped to publish the autobiography of her friend, Dr Nancy Bywaters, who had been a medical missionary in China. Predeceased by her husband, she leaves a son a two daughters (one an associate specialist in ophthalmology), and three grandchildren (one a junior hospital doctor).

[Patricia Bateman, Beryl Corner]

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