Eric Joseph NewtonBMJ 2011; 343 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.d6377 (Published 04 October 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;343:d6377
- John Newton
Born in Surrey but educated in the hills of northern India, Eric was following family tradition when he won an Indian Army scholarship to Madras Medical School. On qualifying he immediately found himself serving as a medical officer in wartime India, and later the Maldives and British Ceylon. These exotic postings were also extremely arduous because of the combined difficulties of war, climate, and tropical diseases. The experience fostered his self reliance, as well as a love of swimming and chess.
He returned to England in 1946, determined to be a surgeon. Four years later he was appointed resident surgical officer at the Royal Salop Infirmary, where Eileen, his future wife, was already working as sister in charge of the theatres. (For her part, Eileen had qualified SRN in London just in time to be sent to the south coast to receive casualties from Dunkerque. She advanced quickly and, as a very young theatre sister at the Masonic Hospital in London, had worked with many of the famous surgeons of the day before coming to Shrewsbury.)
In Shrewsbury, Eric found himself looking after neurosurgical cases but felt he could do better for these patients. He …