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Paul Garner Large

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 23 January 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b268
  1. Anthony Large

    Paul Garner Large was brought up in Durban, and his boyhood and upbringing were comfortably serene. His scholastic promise became evident in his early years. His secondary school education was at Michaelhouse, a distinguished Diocesan school in inland Natal, whence he matriculated well in 1937. He had by then decided that he would pursue medicine as a career, and he enrolled at Guy’s Hospital Medical School in 1938. He was one of many South Africans who, at that time, travelled to England to study medicine, many of them favouring Guy’s. Its rugby side (the oldest extant rugby club in the world) was formidable, and strong in South African players.

    The second world war came in September 1939, and as it grew fiercer, and London subject to aerial bombardment, many of Guy’s patients, staff, and students were evacuated to so called sector hospitals in Kent and Sussex. Medical students, as everyone else, were inconvenienced by this decentralisation, by Home Guard and ARP (Air Raid Precautions) duties, and by uncertainty about improvised programmes of teaching. Required academic standards remained high, but distractions and a disjointed curriculum imposed extra strain on students. Any wish to join one of the armed forces was scotched, for medical students were labelled as being in a reserved occupation.

    After qualifying MB BS (London) in …

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