Obituaries

Geoffrey David Ward

BMJ 2010; 341 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.c7255 (Published 20 December 2010) Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c7255
  1. M F B Grundy

Geoffrey David Ward (“Geoff”) was born on 30 July 1940 in Brisbane. His father became the chief auditor to the Australian High Commission in London in 1956, and the family moved to Surbiton. He completed his education at Tiffin School, where he became head boy, and graduated at University College Hospital, London, in 1964, where he had previously been elected president of UCL Medical Society and later captain of UCH rugby.

After qualifying, he did house jobs at UCH, then obstetrics and gynaecology at Hackney and Westminster before registrar posts at St Mary’s Harrow Road and Slough, where like many he was greatly influenced by Sir Stanley Simmons. He was senior registrar at Sheffield and appointed consultant to Walsall in 1974, having been encouraged to apply by Joe Jordan, whose colposcopy course he had just attended. Walsall was hardly on the map, but Geoff could see the potential, and it wasn’t long before he had persuaded someone to buy him the first laser for colposcopy for a non-teaching hospital in the country. This led to a flourishing oncology practice. He also developed the Daviddoff’s colpopoiesis procedure to restore function to women born without a vagina, which brought him referrals from all round the country. None of this lessened the great pleasure that successful management of a difficult pregnancy or labour gave him.

He was natural leader and an excellent lecturer and tutor, and his teaching skills and enthusiasm were well recognised at Walsall, where he was made postgraduate tutor. In the first balloted election (the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists had previously always appointed its own representatives), he was made RCOG regional adviser over a lot of talented academic opposition. He examined for the DRCOG and the Professional and Linguistics Assessment Board (PLAB) and Birmingham University. He was treasurer of Birmingham and Midland Obstetrical and Gynaecological Society (BMOGS) and later became their president.

Geoff was very well known in Walsall, and would be greeted loudly from afar. His children recall their great embarrassment when from across a street a stallholder thanked him for getting his wife pregnant. He had a very large circle of friends, and he and his wife, Ros, were excellent and lavish hosts. Often Geoff cooked the meal, which would have a strong leaning towards seafood. Oysters were a passion, and in Cornwall, where he retired in 2000, he was on first name terms with the local fishmonger and of course the oysterman at Port Navas. He delighted in his five grandchildren and his family, was a generous friend, and in many ways was larger than life. He is survived by his wife, a consultant anaesthetist retired from Birmingham Heartlands Hospital; two daughters; and a son.

Notes

Cite this as: BMJ 2010;341:c7255

Footnotes

  • Former consultant gynaecologist and obstetrician Manor Hospital, Walsall (b 1940; q University College Hospital, London, 1964; FRCOG), died after a long illness on 9 September 2010, aged 70.