Consultant ear, nose, and throat surgeon Cheltenham General Hospital (b 1909; q St Thomas’s Hospital, London, 1932; FRCS,
DLO), died from cancer of the oesophagus on 11 September 2002.
After studying laryngology in Vienna, and undertaking junior posts in Birmingham and Derby, Geoffrey Neish Barker was appointed
a consultant at Cheltenham General Hospital in 1938, and worked there, other than for a short spell in the army during the
second world war, until he retired in 1973. For much of this time he was singlehanded and bore the burden of operating not
only in the base hospital but in the periphery as well.
He was an accomplished and meticulous surgeon who took pleasure in undertaking the first successful stapedectomy in Gloucestershire.
Punctuality was another characteristic, as any latecomer to one of his clinics would be able to testify. However, behind this
occasionally slightly stern exterior was a man of great kindness, generosity, and humility (he once refused to let his name
go forward for consideration for a merit award), with a delightful sense of humour.
He enjoyed sailing when time allowed and was a skilled furniture maker. In retirement, he also derived pleasure from archery,
trout fishing, and acting as a guide to a local abbey.
He leaves a wife, Mary, and a daughter, Sara. [Geoffrey Fox]