Obituaries

Lydia Anne BurcherLeslie Stuart CantlayHoward Granville HanleyWilliam Gordon HendryJohn Littler JacksonThomas Michael MolesJames ScottJohn Douglas StevensEsther Welbourn (née Hendry)Basil Martin Wright

BMJ 2001; 322 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.322.7297.1308 (Published 26 May 2001) Cite this as: BMJ 2001;322:1308

Lydia Anne Burcher

Consultant anaesthetist Birmingham Children's Hospital 1997–2000 (b 1962; q Birmingham 1984; MRCP, FRCA), d 16 October 2000. Lydia trained in general medicine before embarking on her anaesthetic career and specialising in paediatric anaesthesia. She took on the role of anaesthetic college tutor at Birmingham Children's Hospital in 1999 to fulfil her interest in education and training. As a colleague, she was always professional, juggling family life and the rigours of a full time NHS appointment with cheerful enthusiasm. She enjoyed reading, music, good food, wine, and walking, and had developed a recent passion for sailing. She leaves a son.

[G M Derrick]

Leslie Stuart Cantlay

Former consultant general psychiatrist County Durham and Darlington Priority Services NHS Trust (b Aberdeen 1945; q Aberdeen 1969; MRCPsych), d 5 January 2001. After psychiatric posts in Aberdeenshire, in 1972 Les joined the army and was posted to Northern Ireland. He also served in West Germany, Hong Kong, and at the Queen Elizabeth Military Hospital, Woolwich, reaching the rank of lieutenant colonel in 1983. In 1988 he joined the staff of Winterton psychiatric hospital, Sedgefield, moving to Darlington after Winterton's closure in 1998. He enjoyed his work very much, particularly teaching and training junior doctors. Les was meticulous and precise, particularly in his use of English. He was a great fan of Elvis, loved motorcars, and was extremely proud of his recently acquired silver grey, mark II, “Inspector Morse” Jaguar. He collected model cars and trains, and implements for left handed people. An enthusiastic traveller, he spent a short holiday in China a few months before his death visiting Beijing, the Great Wall, and the Terracotta Warriors. He leaves a wife, Sheila, and two daughters.

[Leslie L Burton]

Howard Granville Hanley

Former consultant urologist St Paul's Hospital for Urinary Diseases (b 1909; q Liverpool 1932; MD, FRCS, CBE), d 18 February 2001. He was urological consultant to the army and honorary consulting urologist at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea, from 1951 to 1975. In 1955 he was awarded a Hunterian professorship. An inquiring and practical mind led to pioneering operations in fields as diverse as male subfertility and renal calculi, and to many publications. He enjoyed being visiting professor to several North American universities and in the Middle East, as much for the social as for the clinical aspects. His skills in committee as well as his standing in the field of urology led to the presidency of the British Association of Urological Surgeons and of the urological section of the Royal Society of Medicine (RSM). In 1972 he was appointed dean of the Institute of Basic Medical Sciences at the Royal College of Surgeons and later vice president of the college. In retirement, increasing time was spent enjoying the benefits of Provençal life. Despite failing health, he was delighted to spend his 90th birthday at the RSM in the company of his family. He leaves a wife, Peggy, two children, and two grandchildren.

[D J Hanley]

William Gordon Hendry

Consultant physician and cardiologist South Buckinghamshire NHS Trust 1986–2000 (b Aberdeen 1949; q Aberdeen 1972; FRCP, FRCP Ed), d 22 November 2000. He became a senior registrar in cardiology at St Mary's Hospital, London, at the relatively young age of 30. As a cardiologist and physician at Wycombe Hospital, Gordon created and managed singlehandedly a six-bed coronary care unit. He also established links with Hammersmith Hospital where he was appointed honorary consultant in the department of clinical cardiology. A tireless worker, he extended care into the community through the Active Hearts programme as well as starting a clinical investigations unit at Amersham Hospital, for research into cardiology. As district clinical tutor for South Bucks, he was instrumental in the formation of the state of the art postgraduate centre, funded by the private finance initiative. As a colleague he was always delightful company. His interests included skiing, golf, and gardening. He kept his good humour throughout his final illness. He underwent a Whipple's pancreatic resection and returned to work after only three months. He continued to work as hard as ever, even when receiving chemotherapy. He leaves a wife, Kirsteen, and two children.

[Sandy McPherson]

John Littler Jackson

Former general practitioner Garstang and Great Harwood, Lancashire (b 1921; q Manchester 1951; DPH), died from bronchopneumonia on 16 January 2001. His medical studies were interrupted by the second world war, during which he was a rear gunner on Lancaster bombers. After preregistration posts in East Anglia, he was, for a time, a GP in Garstang. He was involved in a serious road accident in 1960, sustaining a fractured base of skull, which resulted in a year off work. After his recovery he worked in public health in Fleetwood, Bolton, and Wigan. For the next 20 years he was a singlehanded GP in Great Harwood. A deep X-ray for a carcinoma of the nasal septum and continuing double vision following his road accident severely compromised his retirement. His interests were military history, antique collecting, and birdwatching. He leaves a wife, Annie, a daughter, and a grandson.

[Norman Bradley]

Thomas Michael Moles

Consultant in anaesthesia, trauma, and intensive care Southampton 1970–80 and reader in anaesthesia Hong Kong University 1980–95 (b 1934; q St Thomas's Hospital 1958; DTM&H, FFARCS, FRCA), died from a ruptured aortic aneurysm on 20 March 2001. He was in the Royal Army Medical Corps for five years, and served with the renowned Gurkha Parachute Squadron in Borneo and Nepal, the Parachute Field Ambulance, and the British Military Hospital in Hong Kong. He developed an interest in trauma, mass casualty management, antiterrorism, chemical and biological warfare agents, and humanitarian aid which was to last throughout his life. Mike was a founder member of the British Association for Immediate Care (BASICS), the World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine (WADEM), and of the International Trauma Anaesthesia and Critical Society (ITACCS). He retired from clinical anaesthetic practice in 1995 but was appointed honorary reader to the University of Hong Kong. He continued to make aeromedical repatriation trips until the time of his death. He wrote prolifically with over 30 books and publications in peer reviewed journals. His forte, however, was the spoken word. He had a unique style of delivery, body language, humour, pathos, and a rich baritone voice, which held the audience spellbound. He had a finger on the pulse of the medical, military, financial, and general political scenes throughout the world. He leaves a partner, Pat, and four children.

[Peter Baskett, Judith Fisher]

James Scott

Former general practitioner Wolstanton (b Hanley, Staffordshire, 1917; q Edinburgh 1940; DIH, MRCGP), died from cardiac failure on 8 August 2000. He combined a career in general practice with that of university medical officer. He served as regimental medical officer in North Africa and Italy, and was mentioned in dispatches in 1945. His main clinical interests were industrial medicine and student health. He was appointed to the newly created post of student medical officer when the University of Keele was opened in 1954. Jimmie could be forthright, particularly if pursuing his patients' interests. Long before the advent of practice computers he devised punch card audit systems. In 1969, he and his wife, Sue, bought a tumbledown farmhouse on impulse at an auction. The family moved into a caravan for a year while it was rebuilt. Jimmie enjoyed gardening and walking in the country, and followed the local beagles when he could. He leaves Sue, three children, and six grandchildren.

[Sarah Wookey, Diana Donald]

John Douglas Stevens

Former consultant physician and chest physician Rotherham and Mexborough (b Sheffield 1924; q London 1947; MD, FRCP), d 20 December 2000. Most of John's professional career was dominated by the great changes that occurred in respiratory medicine in the middle of the last century. He did house jobs at the London Hospital and then spent two years with the army in Egypt. When he was first appointed a consultant at Mexborough in Yorkshire in 1961, tuberculosis was still common and John spent much of his time on treatment and control. The programme's success soon made the disease a relatively minor problem, and he was able to devote more time to a wider field of respiratory and general medicine. In 1965 he also took on a major commitment in Rotherham. He had no academic pretensions but concentrated his energies on running a good and efficient clinical service. He retired to Suffolk and served on medical appeal tribunals in London, Norwich, and Cambridge. His last two years were marred by a progressive neurological disease. He leaves a wife, Anna, and two sons.

[Dewi Davies]

Esther Welbourn (née Hendry)

Former director of studies in medicine New Hall, Cambridge (b 1913; q Aberdeen 1936; MD, MA, DCH), d 25 April 2001. She was a fellow emerita of New Hall, Cambridge, of which she had been vice president for seven years. She worked for her MD at the Sick Children's Hospital in Glasgow. This work established a differential diagnosis for cerebrospinal meningitis, and for it she became the first woman to be awarded the Hutchison Prize of Glasgow University. This was awarded every three years for the best MD thesis from any of the four Scottish medical schools. She became an assistant medical officer of health in Birmingham, and after her marriage worked in a large country general practice in Gnosall. She would gladly have spent her life in it. With the arrival of her daughter, she gave up medicine, and did not return to it until her husband joined the staff of Cambridge University and their son was almost seven years old. There she taught in the anatomy department, and supervised undergraduates. With her children grown up, she was also appointed a clinical assistant in dermatology at Addenbrooke's Hospital, and started to publish once more. She leaves a husband, Donald, and two children.

[Donald Welbourn]

Basil Martin Wright

Bioengineer (b 1912; q Cambridge/St Bartholomew's 1938; FRCP (Hon), MD), died from Alzheimer's disease on 4 March 2001. He invented the peak flow meter as well as a range of other widely used instruments. In 1949 he joined the Medical Research Council pneumoconiosis unit at Llandough, a brilliant team which included Archie Cochrane and Charles Fletcher. The new unit lacked suitable equipment and Martin, who had a natural technical flair, became their inventor in residence. At that time there was no simple measure of lung function, making large scale studies impractical; thus was the peak flow meter born. The miniature version developed in the 1970s transformed peak flow from a specialist instrument to a standard item of medical equipment worldwide. Other instruments developed from this time also included the Wright respirometer, still in use in anaesthetics. Martin moved to the National Institute for Medical Research in 1957 to work solely on instrument development, where his work on breath alcohol provided the scientific basis for the new drink driving laws. His second breathalyser, developed with Tom Jones, won a Queen's award for industry and is now the standard roadside instrument. In 1969 he moved to the newly opened clinical research centre at Northwick Park Hospital, where he developed the pocket sized Grazeby syringe driver; first developed for chelation therapy in thalassaemia, it has since become a vital tool for pain relief in terminal care. He had a constant flow of new ideas: those not commercially produced included variable focus spectacles which he himself wore for many years. Martin was neither professionally nor financially ambitious: the MRC held his patents and kept most of the royalties flowing from them. In return, he received a steady income and did what he most enjoyed, without the burden of senior responsibilities. His deceptively simple, elegant instruments will survive him for many years. He leaves a wife, Sheila, and five children.

[C M Wright]