Obituaries

Robert James Edwin BellMary Evaline GriffithMercy Jacob JosephWilliam Thomas KennyOmotunde Olutosin (“Tosin”) Manuwa-ClairmonteRobert ProsserMaureen Seddon (née Maxwell)Robert William Magill StrainRichard WaltonGavin (“Guy”) Baird Ross WarnockMaurice Cresswell BroughDavid Stafford-Clark

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.320.7235.651 (Published 04 March 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:651

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Robert James Edwin Bell


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Former general practitioner Mirfield (b Donegal 1915; q Belfast 1938), d 27 December 1999. At the outbreak of war he volunteered for service with the Royal Army Medical Corps. After a year he went to the Middle East and spent some months with a field ambulance in Tobruk under enemy siege. He was then given command of a field ambulance which was sent to Syria, the scene of heavy fighting between British and Vichy French forces. In 1943 he arrived in India as part of a draft of reinforcements for the Burma campaign and at the age of 27 was appointed lieutenant colonel. After the war he became a partner in a large practice in Mirfield and was there until he retired in 1979. He then moved to Castle Douglas. Predeceased by his first wife, Blossom, he leaves his second wife, Edith; a son from his first marriage; and two stepdaughters.

[Peter McKay]

Mary Evaline Griffith

Former general practitioner Selly Oak, Birmingham (b 1901; qDublin 1925), d 13 January 2000. At only 5ft she held her own in a predominantly male college and was never afraid to put forward her point of view. She and her husband, Tom, ran a busy general practice until retirement in 1965. Throughout the second world war they worked long hours in difficult circumstances, accepting the work of those in the armed forces. She took on most of the district midwifery and became a competent toothpuller. Throughout her working life she was involved in the care of young unmarried mothers, many from Ireland. Inactivity in retirement in north Wales soon found her as a permanent member of a local practice. Predeceased by her husband, Tom, she leaves three children; seven grandchildren; and six great grandchildren.

[Thomas Griffith]

Mercy Jacob Joseph

Consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist (b India 1938; q Rome 1963; DCH, FRCOG), d 1 April 1999. The daughter of an Indian journalist she left India in the late 1950s and worked in paediatrics and obstetrics and gynaecology in Dublin, England, and north Wales, where she spent nearly two decades before returning to India. Her last years of practice were spent in the Middle East. She treated people from all walks of life with respect and helped many through their personal crises, often forgetting her own. Her children remember her breakfast table quiz and her dedication and hard work inspired two of her sisters and her two sons to become doctors. She leaves a husband, Joseph, and two sons.

[Joseph Mathew]

William Thomas Kenny


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Former consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Bromsgrove and Redditch, 1951-79 (b Dublin 1914; q Trinity College Dublin 1938; FRCSI, FRCOG), died from carcinoma of the prostate on 29 September 1999. He moved to England to take part in the war effort and initially worked as a surgeon in London's east end, treating civilian casualties. He then worked as a troopship surgeon, travelling to Canada, Africa, and the Far East. At Bromsgrove he was regarded as a meticulous operator and his opinions were widely sought. He had many interests outside medicine, including breeding Shetland and Dartmoor ponies, for which he gained a modest collection of prizes. He was a good raconteur and had a fine knowledge of wine. He became master of the Worshipful Company of Barbers in 1971 and he started the new library and instituted a programme of laying down wines. He leaves a wife, Daphne; two sons; and two grandchildren.

[H M White, M W Kenny]

Omotunde Olutosin (“Tosin”) Manuwa-Clairmonte


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Group psychotherapist Tunbridge Wells (b Lagos, Nigeria, 1940; qEdinburgh 1965), died from bronchial carcinoma on 7 September 1999. She was the only surviving child of eight of Sir Samuel Manuwa, medical director of Nigeria, and his wife who established four schools in Nigeria. After a spell at University College Hospital, Ibadan, where she was involved in a project which treated villagers who were psychiatrically disordered in their own communities, Tosin returned to Britain where her interest in group psychotherapy developed. In 1976 she became honorary group analyst at St Bartholomew's Hospital and then moved to the Department of Child and Family Psychiatry in Tunbridge Wells. In 1992 she was appointed group analyst and psychotherapist, Ticehurst House Hospital, to the traumatic stress and young persons units. Tosin was a caring person with a deep Christian faith and retained her interest in the schools founded by her mother. She leaves a husband, Paul, and three children.

[Anthony Goorney, Gordon Turnbull]

Robert Prosser


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Former consultant paediatrician Royal Gwent Hospital, Newport, 1964-92 (b Umtata, South Africa 1920; q Cape Town 1953; FRCP, DCH), died suddenly from ischaemic heart disease while feeding his sheep on 1 December 1999. Before medical school he studied for a zoology degree and was an active anti-apartheid campaigner. He then gained a Headingly scholarship to study medicine. He worked first in general practice, which included dentistry, but while working in paediatrics he impressed a visiting paediatrician from Cambridge who offered to help him to come to Britain for further postgraduate training. When he was appointed a consultant in Newport he quickly transformed and developed the paediatric services and held clinics throughout Gwent. He developed a special interest in cystic fibrosis and set up one of the first clincs in Britain and established a neonatal screening project in his health authority. When more consultants were appointed he took the opportunity to return to Africa, working for the World Health Organisation at Zaria University, Nigeria. He repeated the experience in Benghazi, Libya. He later spent periods teaching and working in Saudi Arabia and developed an interest in Arabic language and culture. He retired in 1992 after a coronary artery bypass but continued to work as a locum. He was president of the Welsh Paediatric Society and the Gwent Medical Society. He shared his wife's interest in the arts—she is an artist—and became involved in conserving and raising a flock of Soay sheep. He leaves a wife, Helga; a son; a daughter (a doctor); and a grandson.

[John A Dodge]

Maureen Seddon (née Maxwell)


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Staff grade doctor in child health (b 1940; q Liverpool 1964), died from liver failure caused by primary biliary cirrhosis on 26 October 1999. She initially trained in anaesthetics and reached locum consultant level, but she stopped working when she started a family. When she restarted she switched to child health in Warrington and worked in schools and community clinics. The staff found her approachable and humorous and admired her patience when dealing with the most troublesome families. She continued to work despite her illness until weeks before she died. Outside work her large family and a succession of dogs kept her busy. She leaves a husband, John (a retired surgeon), and five children.

[H Starkey, R Thorburn]

Robert William Magill Strain


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Former consultant physician and paediatrician Belfast, 1944-71 (bBelfast 1907; q Belfast 1930; MD (gold medal), FRCPI), d 27 December 1999. He served with the Royal Army Medical Corps during the war in England, France, the Netherlands, and Germany, becoming lieutenant colonel. After the war he returned to the Ulster Hospital for Children and Women where he had been appointed honorary physician. He held posts in other hospitals, at Queen's University, and in the army. He was a fluent and entertaining speaker and writer and produced a steady flow of articles on the medical history of Belfast. Belfast and its Charitable Society in 1961 earned him his PhD. After retirement he moved to Cornwall where he became an enthusiastic gardener and watercolourist, sending his little paintings as Christmas cards. As he became more frail he and his wife, who predeceased him, moved to Cheltenham. They had no children.

[R S J Clarke]

Richard Walton


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General practitioner Windsor, 1966-99 (b Norwich 1939; qCambridge/St Mary's 1963), died from asthma and drowning on 9 September 1999. When he came to Windsor he was known for conducting home visits by bicycle. He had a remarkable memory and knew the dates of birth of many of his patients. He was medical officer to the Theatre Royal in Windsor and until recently a medical officer at Royal Holloway, University of London. He was very fit and rowed for Trinity College and St Mary's, and in 1975 he climbed the first stage of Everest to raise funds for the United Missions charity. A patient dying of cancer inspired him to swim long coastal distances for charity and in 1997 he completed 50 miles in 12 stages from Sennen Cove, Lands End, to Pendennis Point, Falmouth. The following year he collected over £20 000 for the Thames Valley Hospice and in September 1999 he raised over £25 000 for the hospice and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, having completed another lengthy distance. But he got into difficulties a few days later when he drowned. He leaves a wife, June; two sons; and three stepsons.

[Alan Mills]

Gavin (“Guy”) Baird Ross Warnock


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Former consultant physician North Tees Health District, 1950-79 (bLanarkshire 1914; q Edinburgh 1938; FRCPE), d 10 January 2000. Guy served in the Royal Army Medical Corps during the war, reaching the rank of lieutenant colonel. When he was first appointed to Stockton, Thornaby, and Sedgefield districts he was the only physician and was instrumental in developing medical services in the area, culminating in the opening of the North Tees General Hospital. The rapid devolution of district services brought Guy into contact with young consultants in many specialties and he was generous with advice and encouragement. He had a string of occasionally bewildering stories and was an excellent companion on journeys. When he retired he led the North Tees staff health department until 1986. Outside work he enjoyed walking and shooting, but his latter years were blighted by Alzheimer's disease. Predeceased by his wife, Sylvia, he leaves two sons and five grandchildren.

[A W Dellipiani]

Maurice Cresswell Brough

Consultant chest physician Leicester, 1951-74 (b Dublin 1914;q Trinity College Dublin), died peacefully at home in Suffolk on 10 January 2000. He leaves a wife; three sons; and six grandchildren.

[Stephen Brough]

David Stafford-Clark

A service of thanksgiving for the life of Dr David Stafford-Clark, who died on 9 September 1999, will be held on Friday 17 March at 2 pm at St Clement Danes Church, Strand, London WC2, and afterwards at 7 Gloucester Crescent, London NW1.

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