Intended for healthcare professionals


Maxwell CrannaAndrew Walters ForbesGeoffrey Frederick James GoddardDaniel John GoldsteinGinette Lesley HarrisonMichael LeibsonJohn David LewisPatrick Joseph O'RourkeKathleen Mary SpencerAndrew WattJohn Leslie David Williams

BMJ 2000; 320 doi: (Published 22 January 2000) Cite this as: BMJ 2000;320:253

Maxwell Cranna

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Former general practitioner Cheltenham (b Aberdeen 1933; q Glasgow 1956), died from prostate cancer on 12 November 1999. After qualifying Max took up a short service commission with the 7th Battalion Malay Regiment for three years, some on active service. He passed his primary fellowship course but then abandoned further studies in favour of continuing adventures abroad. He became a ship's surgeon on the Union Castle Line. He was in practice in Cheltenham for over 30 years and a senior partner when he retired in 1993. Max was medical officer at Cheltenham College and occupational health doctor to the East Gloucestershire Trust, becoming a senior clinical medical officer. A keen Rotarian, he was president of the Cheltenham Club in 1984-5. He took an interest in international fellowship and organised exchanges with the twin club of Chatellerault, of which he was made an honorary member. The Rotary awarded him the Paul Harris fellowship for distinguished service. Max played trumpet with the Rotary jazz band for many years, raising money for charity. He leaves a wife, Catherine, and two daughters.

[Charlotte Ashby]

Andrew Walters Forbes

Consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist Pontefract and Pinderfields NHS Trust, 1987-99 (b India 1950; q St George's 1974; MRCOG), died suddenly from a myocardial infarction on 8 December 1999. Andrew's parents were Methodist missionaries in India, but although a religious man he declared at the age of 3 that he wanted to be a doctor. He was a registrar in Bradford and Hull and a senior registar in Aberdeen. He was a meticulous surgeon and a passionate teacher, who loved to pass on his skills. Andrew always taught that his way was best, and in his hands it certainly was. His desire for clinical excellence was unmatched and he was an excellent ally. His kindness and sense of humour endeared him to his patients. Andrew loved Scotland, good malt whisky and fine wines, music, and kit cars. He leaves a wife, Pauline, and two sons.

[Graham Hunter]

Geoffrey Frederick James Goddard

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Former consultant psychiatrist Storthes Hall Hospital, Huddersfield, and Halifax Child Guidance Clinic (b Surrey 1921; q Westminster 1945), died from cardiac failure on 17 November 1999. He served in the Royal Army Medical Corps during the war and worked in several hospitals before moving to Huddersfield as a consultant. He developed an interest in the relatively new field of child and adolescent psychiatry and worked at several homes for what were termed disturbed or maladjusted children. He was quick to observe that some were victims of abuse and often spotted the physical causes of mental illness. He had a mercurial temperament and was never one to hold back his views, even in the face of opposition. This led to some disagreements with colleagues, but he always did and said what he thought was right. Geoffrey always dressed immaculately and had little time for those who did not. He was a prolific painter, preferring oils, and saw the value of teaching art as a therapeutic measure. One of his caricatures hung for a time in the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. He retired early owing to ill health and had spells in hospital because of ischaemic heart disease and carcinoma of the colon. He was a terrible patient but a loving carer to his wife during her long illness. Predeceased by his wife, Helen, he leaves four daughters; four sons (one, me, a doctor); and six grandchildren.

[Tony Goddard]

Daniel John Goldstein

Former reader in anatomy Sheffield University (b 1930; q Witwatersrand 1955; DSc), d 12 December 1999. At Witwatersrand he was president of the students' representative council and vice president of the National Union of African Students during the rise of apartheid, and was often in conflict with the authorities. He did several internships, including in Soweto, experience which he described as being much about knife and gunshot wounds, and was a senior lecturer at Witwatersrand. He was “advised” to leave South Africa, which he did in 1965, and became a British citizen in 1972. He became a reader in Sheffield in 1975. Dan did much of the work that led to the marketing by Vickers Instruments of the M85 scanning microdensitometers, much in use later for quantitating DNA in single cells, and the M86 microinterferometers, which could measure single cell mass. He also did research on polarised light microscopy and published papers with his wife, a senior lecturer in genetics. By 1998 he had developed a suite of programs covering aspects of various forms of light microscope, some of which are used to teach medical students. His book on the subject was published in August 1999. He leaves a wife, Ingeborg, and a daughter.

[Michael A Williams]

Ginette Lesley Harrison

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General practitioner and mountaineer (b 1958; q Bristol 1981; MD, MRCGP), died in a montaineering accident in the Himalayas on 24 October 1999. Ginette developed her passion for climbing through the university climbing club, and spent two years researching high altitude physiology at the University of Colorado. She was able to combine general practice with her love of climbing and travel, and interspersed with training posts she was medical officer on climbing and research expeditions and at the Himalayan Rescue Post in Nepal. Letters and papers were often written in a tent. In 1993 Ginette fulfilled her ambition to climb Mount Everest, becoming the second British woman to do so. It was on this expedition that she met Gary, her American husband, and they climbed to the summit hand in hand. She moved to Massachusetts and completed the residency programme for family practice at the university medical centre. In 1998 Ginette became the first woman to climb Mount Kanchenjunga, establishing her reputation as Britain's leading woman high altitude climber. She had boundless energy and a sense of fun, combined with compassion and complete modesty in all her achievements. She leaves a husband, Gary; her parents; two sisters; and two brothers.

[Sue Black, Kate Keohane, Ann Tonge]

Michael Leibson

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Former general practitioner London (b 1913; q King's College Hospital/Glasgow 1940), died from a glioblastoma on 1 May 1999. He served as a captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps and after the war set up a singlehanded practice in Bethnal Green in east London, which he ran until he retired in 1991. For a time he ran another part time practice in Islington. He found the diversity of problems a constant stimulation. He was very gregarious and his home became a centre of activity for a variety of pursuits. His late wife, Sylvia, was an artist and he staged many exhibitions, helping the careers of many, now well known, artists. He was involved in local politics, serving on a local residents' association and the Islington Division of the BMA, which he chaired. He was recently interviewed for the National Sound Archive as part of a project on the reminiscences of GPs in the east end of London. He had an irreverent sense of humour and a quick temper, but his often outrageous attitudes were balanced by a tolerance of people's differing beliefs. He always kept up with developments in medicine and with intellectual pursuits, including his huge and diverse book collection. Predeceased by his wife, Sylvia, he leaves two daughters.

[Carol Harris]

John David Lewis

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Consultant vascular surgeon Northwick Park Hospital, 1974-99 (b St Albans 1941; q Middlesex 1964; FRCS), died from lung cancer on 19 August 1999. He did much of his training at St Mary's and this culiminated in his election to a Hunterian professorship for his work on the use of ultrasound in evaluating peripheral arterial disease. He provided singlehanded vascular cover for much of his consultant career, and was renowned for his attention to clinical detail and safe operating skill. He published many new ideas and protocols for treating and preventing venous ulcers and for the preoperative assessment of patients with aortic aneurysm, which are now accepted as best practice. John played a major part in the management of the hospital, as chairman of the medical staff committee, head of surgery, clinical director, medical adviser to the League of Friends, chairman of the private wing, and for his innovative thoughts in think tank committees. John was a private man who loved gadgets and fast cars. Recently he developed an interest in farm machinery, which he delighted in operating at his beloved chateau in Aquitaine. He was an accomplished organist, owning two impressive electronic instruments. His illness was diagnosed only days after his decision to retire. He leaves a wife, Sally, and a son and a daughter.

[Anthony Hewlett]

Patrick Joseph O'Rourke

Consultant ophthalmic surgeon Sunderland and South Shields, 1971-94 (b Carlow, Eire, 1929; q Dublin 1952; FRCSEd, FRCOphth), died from a stroke on 20 January 1999. His early intention was to pursue a career in general medicine with neurological subspecialisation, but a severe respiratory infection and treatment with streptomycin led to nerve damage and hearing loss. He subsequently discovered a feeling for ophthalmology and worked in Croydon, Maidstone, and East Grinstead, where he acquired a lifelong interest in ophthalmic plastic surgery. In Sunderland he had a heavy caseload and he pursued his special interests in neuro-ophthalmology and ophthalmic plastic surgery while keeping abreast of the rapid changes in the specialty. He tried not to let his deafness interfere with his work. Outside medicine he was interested in literature and the arts generally. Predeceased by his first wife, Jenny (an anaesthetist), he leaves his second wife, Margaret; a daughter by his first marriage; and a son.

[John Richardson]

Kathleen Mary Spencer

Consultant physician Kingston General Hospital (b Lichfield 1952;q Guy's 1975; MD, FRCP), died from a cerebral tumour on 9 July 1999. Kate worked as a research registrar with the late Professor Andrew Cudworth at St Bartholomew's Hospital when she was the cutting edge of research into the genetics and immunology of diabetes. In 1998 she developed weakness in her arm and was found to have a brain tumour, but she bore her illness with optimism and even in the late stages was able to share a joke and enjoy a meal at local restaurants. She had many interests, including flying, and obtained her pilot's licence while doing busy clinical posts. She did not marry and leaves her mother, and a brother and sister.

[D J B Thomas]

Andrew Watt

General practitioner Edinburgh (b 1907; q Edinburgh 1931; MD, FRCS), d 1 December 1999. Although he qualified in surgery he decided to continue in general practice in Inverleith. He and his partner set a high standard and vacancies were keenly contested. There are still those who say “there was no one quite like Dr Watt.” He conducted a study into the nutrition of 50 families in his practice and this was the basis of his MD thesis. During the war Andrew served in the Royal Army Medical Corps in Belgium, west Africa, and India. He returned to the practice until he retired in 1985. Andrew enjoyed golf and will be remembered for his debonair appearance, particularly the rakish angle of his trilby hat and his cream calfskin gloves. Predeceased by his first wife, Margaret; he leaves his second wife, Sheila; a son by his first marriage; a daughter by his second; and grandchildren.

[Douglas Bell]

John Leslie David Williams

Former ear, nose, and throat surgeon Monmouthshire, 1948-79 (b 1909; q Manchester 1933; MD, FRCS), d 14 November 1999. During the war he served with the Royal Army Medical Corps in east Africa and, as a major, with a field ambulance in France and Belgium after the D Day landings. In 1948 JLD was appointed a consultant to the Royal Gwent Hospital and Monmouthshire. Always innovative, he kept abreast of the rapid technological expansion in his specialty and his skills were in great demand. He chaired the committee responsible for the new Gwent Royal Hospital and was president of the Monmouthshire branch of the BMA in the late 1950s. He suffered a massive cardiac infarct in 1960 but was back at work within six months. Outside medicine JLD was interested in oil painting, philately, and foreign travel, particularly to Greece. When he retired he started an art course and many of his paintings are on display in the Royal Gwent and St Joseph's Hospitals. He leaves two children and four grandchildren.

[D E Sturdy]