Alfred Nowell Hamilton PeachBMJ 2012; 344 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.e1764 (Published 14 March 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e1764
- Meg Parkes
Alfred Nowell Hamilton Peach⇑ was born in Bristol in 1914. He was educated at Clifton College and studied medicine in the city, qualifying in 1937. At the outbreak of the war he joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve and was posted to Malaya in 1940. During the Japanese invasion of Northern Malaya in December 1941 Peach took huge risks to evacuate patients into trenches under heavy bombardment and then remained at the hospital until it was almost too late. For such selflessness he was mentioned in Despatches. In Nowell’s words his retreat was done in style, at the wheel of an “old thirty horsepower Ford V8, secondhand from the Chinese garage in Singapore, which went like a train … I escaped down the length of Malaya … stopped at Kuala Lumpur … [for] a shower and lunch and then carried on down to Singapore and got there later in the evening … .” He was swiftly drafted to Sumatra but had barely unpacked before more Japanese soldiers were parachuting on to the island.
He landed in Java, where at the end of February 1942 he arrived in Bandung at the No 1 Allied General Hospital, an Australian field hospital in a converted …