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John Richard Carr Gardham

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: (Published 17 February 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h740
  1. J P Bolton

John Richard Carr Gardham was the first child of medical parents. His father, John Gardham, was a consultant surgeon at University College Hospital, and his mother, Audrey, was a general practitioner. His father was away for much of the war, working as a consulting surgeon to the 14th Army and Eastern Command, mainly in Burma. His mother moved out of London to work in a general practice in Surrey, taking Richard and his sister with her. If the intention was to avoid the Blitz it was not entirely successful, as they lived beside a main railway that was a target for German bombs. After the war the family lived in St John’s Wood, and generations of UCH students were entertained at the house in Acacia Road, as, later, were Richard’s student friends from the Middlesex Hospital.

Richard was educated at Winchester College and then went up to Trinity College, Cambridge, to read medicine. His clinical training was at the Middlesex Hospital Medical School, where he won the introductory course prize, and he qualified in 1961. Richard was always going to be a surgeon; surgery was in his DNA, and his personality and character were entirely suited to it. He was serious and deliberate by nature and did not rush into anything. He was thorough in planning and preparation, be it for a committee meeting or a complex surgical procedure. He was a meticulous operator, and his surgical skill was based on an encyclopaedic knowledge of anatomy. Added to these attributes were singleminded application, perseverance, stamina, and a degree of stubbornness, which all contributed to his …

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