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ObituariesVernon Frederick (“Sam”) HallDavid Marsden FletcherJames Edward HiltonLancelot Craig MontgomeryLeslie Gordon MorrisonHelen Duncanson Tennent SmithJohn Edward UttingAlan Richardson Wilson

BMJ 1999; 318 doi: (Published 23 January 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;318:265

Vernon Frederick (“Sam”) Hall

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Consultant anaesthetist and dean of King's College Hospital Medical School 1951-65(b New Cross, London, 1904,to parents who were both teachers; q King's 1927; FFARCS; CVO), died of an abdominal aortic aneurysm on 19August 1998.At medical school he was a keen sportsman, being full back in the most successful rugby team it ever had. He became a resident anaesthetist at King's. This was an unpaid post and he made his living working at a dispensary and from the occasional private fee. An unexpected retirement in 1931resulted in his becoming a consultant at the age of 27.This post was also unpaid and income had to be earned from private cases done at the invitation of the surgeon and from locums outside the hospital. He later got a post at Southend Hospital for two sessions a week, earning £150 a year.

At the beginning of the war Sam worked at King's during the blitz. He then joined the Royal Army Medical Corps, being posted to India, where he found himself charged with having to staff numerous mobile surgical units, formed to treat casualties as near to the front line as possible. Although there was a plentiful supply of surgeons, there were only 11recognised anaesthetists in the whole of India Command, and the work soon involved the organisation and training of anaesthetists. Sam spent much time in rough travelling to forward units in north east India and Burma. On one occasion, picking up a sick anaesthetist, he spent 18hours in a flying boat because of its other duties in protecting a merchant ship from submarine attack. Later in 1944he became anaesthetic adviser to South East Asia Command, attaining the rank of brigadier.

After the war Sam returned to his consultant post at King's, becoming a founder member of the board of the newly …

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