Obituaries

Alison Jane Graham BellAntony Robert Phillips EllisEnid Josephine FairRobert Charles HuntErnst JacobyDavid KendallEric Clare (“Ric”) RaybouldDenis George Blackwood RichardsMatthew Herbert Patrick SayersRuth Janet SmithDavid SpencerAndrew Felix Verney

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.320.7240.1012 (Published 08 April 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:1012

Alison Jane Graham Bell

Consultant physician in care of the elderly Royal Surrey County Hospital, Guildford (b 1963; q St Bartholomew's 1987; MRCP, MA), died as the result of an accident after falling from a roof she was repairing on 12 August 1999. Alison was a quiet, gentle person with a keen sense of humour. Her natural empathy underpinned her commitment to be approachable in her contact with patients and relatives, and she was looking forward to developing several aspects of the service. Having been captain of hockey at medical school, she maintained her sporting interests, regularly playing hockey and tennis. Alison treasured her family life and frequently spent holidays keeping up with the more far flung members of her family. She also adored the remote family cottage near Fishguard, and it was at this remote location that she died. She leaves her mother and four siblings.

[R W Hughes D R J Snead]

Antony Robert Phillips Ellis

Former physician Huntingdon County Hospital (b Ormiston, Scotland, 1914; q Cambridge/St Barthlomew's 1941; DSO), died after a prolonged illness on 27 August 1999. Tony was the epitome of an English gentleman, but he was a shy man and few of his friends knew of his war record. He was awarded the DSO twice, and for a doctor this could have been given only for the utmost gallantry. He was a born pessimist but very talented, particularly on the stage, where his lost his inhibitions. He was also a talented artist and skilled at do it yourself. Tony also ran the family farm while working at Huntingdon for over 30 years. He did not wear his religion on his sleeve, but the church and his faith were deeply ingrained in him. He leaves a wife, Ilse; a stepdaughter; and two step grandchildren.

[B M Jones]

Enid Josephine Fair

Former general practitioner Quarry Bank, West Midlands, 1948-91 (b 1916; q Royal Free Hospital 1939), d 30 January 2000. After house jobs she served in the Royal Army Medical Corps during the second world war before moving to York to work in general practice. In 1948 she set up practice in Quarry Bank. The practice was unusual in that it was always staffed by women doctors. She was known for treating anybody who knocked on her door at any hour. She continued to work in the busy practice while raising eight children. She was a practising Christian and a member of the Iona community, which she visited regularly. She leaves eight children; 22 grandchildren; and four great grandchildren.

[Seeta Siriwardene]

Robert Charles Hunt

Anaesthetist Northampton General Hospital (b Sheringham 1942; q Guy's 1968; FRCA), died from a ruptured aortic aneurysm on 29 March 1999. He was inspired to take up medicine by his aunt, who was a keen Red Cross worker. After training in Croydon and Leicester he moved to Northampton in 1978. His aim of becoming a consultant paediatric anaesthetist was thwarted by failure to obtain a senior registrar post, but he accepted clinical assistant and staff grade posts with equanimity. He was noted for his dedicated and hard work despite ill health and failing eyesight, and regularly gave more anaesthetics than any other member of the department. He was instantly recognisable by his great size and shock of red hair, and he had consuming enthusiasms and eccentricities. He devoted much of his energy to his plants, philately, and naval history, having a particular interest in the Russian-Japanese war.

[R H K Marsh]

Ernst Jacoby


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Former consultant psychiatrist Birmingham (b Berlin 1908; q Basle 1934; MD, FRCPsych), d 8 December 1999. When he fled to England in 1939 he was virtually penniless and resorted to a variety of menial jobs to survive. He was interned on the Isle of Man during the second world war, but was eventually able to practise medicine. He then volunteered and served as a captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps. He served mainly in India in charge of West African patients. When he became a consultant he always put his patients first and spent little time diverted away from them on committees. The exception was the two terms he served on the Parole Board. He became an influential member, and the other members, particularly the judges, valued his shrewd judgment. Ernst had a renewed career as a forensic psychiatrist and was a well known expert witness until he retired in his late 70s. Until a few months before he died he enthusiastically followed his interests in music and opera, read widely, and was a keen bird watcher. But then Parkinson's disease overtook him, culminating in a heart attack, which he survived for two months. He leaves a wife, Barbara;a son and a daughter; and four grandchildren.

[Robert Bluglass]

David Kendall


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Former consultant neurologist Royal Surrey County Hospital, Guildford; St Helier Hospital, Carshalton; and Atkinson Morley's Hospital, Wimbledon (b 1913; q Oxford/St Thomas's 1936; FRCP), d 31 December 1999. When first appointed to Guildford David was the only consultant neurologist in a large area and set up the first neurological department. He was an inspiring teacher and had a great flair for accurate clinical diagnosis, based on sound academic knowledge and a retentive memory. He was dedicated to and loved by his patients with chronic disorders and he gave them long term support, alleviation of their symptoms, and encouragement. He researched into and published papers on multiple sclerosis and peripheral nerve injuries, and he was a founder member of the MS Society. When he retired David concentrated on medicolegal work and he was elected to the Medico-Legal Society. He was a man of wide interests—a fine pianist, a skilled calligrapher, and a keen gardener. He leaves a wife, Jane; a son and daughter from his first marriage; and seven grandchildren.

[Anne Hunter]

Eric Clare (“Ric”) Raybould


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Former general practitioner Milton Keynes (b 1925; q Birmingham 1952), d 24 November 1999. He started in general practice in Tamworth, where he established a reputation as a committed family physician and understood the value of traditional community based health care. Until its closure he was responsible for treating patients with tuberculosis and general chest complaints at Bowlehall Hospital. He was instrumental in building a health centre in Tamworth, one of the first in England. After the death of his first wife he started a fresh life in practice in Burton on Trent and then moved to Milton Keynes in 1977. He established a new practice and developed first class facilities. Ric was stimulating company and had a wry sense of humour. He used this to deflate pomposity and question the arcane behaviour of some of his peers. He was passionately interested in rugby and motor racing. Predeceased by his first wife, Stella, he leaves his second wife, Marie; three children; and six grandchildren.

[E W Borastero]

Denis George Blackwood Richards


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Former consultant physician West Bromwich, 1955-80 (b Birmingham 1915; q Birmingham 1938; MD, FRCP), died from carcinoma of the pancreas on 18 January 2000. During the second world war Denis served with the Royal Air Force, mainly in central Africa, becoming a squadron leader. He worked in Shrewsbury and Birmingham before being appointed a consultant. He had a special interest in diabetes and cardiovascular medicine, starting the coronary care unit in West Bromwich in the early days of such units. Denis was a quiet but caring man and was dedicated to his patients and the development of hospital services. Outside medicine he was a bibliophile and knowledgeable in French and German literature. He was also a good host. He leaves a wife, Betty (also a doctor); two sons (one a doctor); and five grandchildren.

[J R Tighe]

Matthew Herbert Patrick Sayers


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Director of army pathology, 1964-7 (b Croydon 1908; q St Thomas's 1932; MD, FRCPath; OBE), d 12 January 2000. Pat was commissioned in the Royal Army Medical Corps in 1935 and trained as a pathologist, and in 1943 he became assistant director of pathology, Central Command, India, with the rank of lieutenant colonel. During the Burma campaign in 1943-5, when the cases of sickness outnumbered battle casualties by 120 to one, he joined General Slim's Fourteenth Army headquarters as assistant director of pathology. He played a major part in fighting malaria, dysentery, and scrub typhus, and was mentioned in despatches and awarded the OBE. He was promoted to colonel in Admiral Mountbatten's headquarters. After the second world war he held senior posts in Britain and overseas and returned to Britain to become director of army pathology in 1964. Pat was a founder fellow of the Royal College of Pathlogists and honorary physician to the Queen, 1965-7. When he retired he joined HM Factory Inspectorate where he introduced a new screening procedure for estimating capillary blood lead in lead workers. Pat was cultured and urbane and had a wonderful sense of humour. He was interested in gardening, literature, music, cricket, polo, fox hunting, and beagling. Predeceased by his wife, Moira, he leaves a daughter and two sons.

[Tommy Pace]

Ruth Janet Smith

Former family planning doctor and dermatologist (b 1929; q Bristol 1953 (honours)), d 22 December 1999. Ruth did medical training posts in Bristol and Chesterfield and then when her daughters were born decided to work part time. In 1963 she joined the staff of the family planning clinic at Southmead Hospital. The contraceptive pill was still comparatively new, and the clinic was expected to see only married women. In 1968 a Brook Clinic opened. There was anxiety about providing contraception to the young and the unmarried, but Ruth joined the staff and was a success with the young patients. She became a clinical assistant in dermatology and worked in the specialty until her retirement in 1994;she then did locums until her last illness. She wrote several papers on dermatology, and her particular interest was urticaria. She leaves a husband, Michael; two daughters; and three grandchildren.

[Ruth E Coles]

David Spencer

Consultant pathologist High Wycombe and Jersey Group of Hospitals (b 1936; q Manchester 1961), d 22 January 2000. After house officer posts he spent a trial period in general practice but decided on pathology. When he became a consultant in High Wycombe in 1971 he not only provided holiday relief for his colleague in microbiology but also managed to breed Pyrenean mountain dogs. Then in 1976 he moved to Jersey. His outgoing personality concealed a sensitive and caring nature. David was always available to counsel bereaved relatives and set up a bereavement counselling service. He never complained about his workload or extra duties and always took committee work seriously. He did a lot of forensic and court work and obtained the Diploma in Medical Jurisprudence. David had a fine bass voice and a wide knowledge of classical music. He was much in demand as a quiz master and latterly developed a commercial interest in oyster farming. Since retiring in 1997 he had developed cardiac problems and collapsed while on duty for the Samaritans.

[J J Taylor]

Andrew Felix Verney

Occupational physician (b 1921; q Oxford/Westminster 1948), died on 26 February 2000 after an operation to relieve a neoplastic acute intestinal obstruction. He was a chorister, a musicologist, and a pianist of professional standard, and it was surprising that he chose medicine. After clinical training he became part of the fabric of Westminster Hospital, playing the organ for services and organising concerts. He was appointed medical officer to the nurses and was in charge of the sick bay in the nurses'home. This unique service was effective in reducing the sickness rate among the nurses. He became the on site general practitioner for all the lay staff, and later established similar units at Moorfields and the Royal College of Art, where he was elected an honorary fellow. He was a governor of the Yehudi Menuhin School of Music, and when he retired he moved to a house that could accommodate two grand pianos. In his later years he suffered from parkinsonism. He leaves a wife, Dosia; two step children; a son and a daughter; and their families.

[Richard Bayliss Peter Hansell]

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