Lives of the fellows

Alfred George Charlton Cox

b.8 December 1912 d.11 June 1993
BA Wales(1933) MRCS LRCP(1940) MB BS Lond(1941) MRCP(1947) FRCP(1969)

George Cox was born at Abedare in Wales, the son of the headmaster of the local grammar school. He was educated at Mill Hill School, London, but subsequently returned to the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire where he obtained a degree in modern languages with first class honours. He then wished to become a doctor and entered Guy's Hospital medical school, qualifying in 1940 just after the start of the second world war. After house appointments at Guy’s sector hospitals at Maidstone and Orpington, he joined the RAMC in 1942 and served for much of the war in East Africa. On demobilization in 1946 he had become a graded physician with the rank of major.

He returned to Guy’s where he remained, doing postgraduate registrar appointments, until 1949 when he was appointed acting consultant physician at St Olave’s Hospital in Bermondsey. He acquitted himself well and was confirmed as consultant physician to the hospital in 1951, an appointment he held until his retirement.

During the war, in 1942, he married Elizabeth Padbury, the daughter of a doctor, who was a nurse at Guy’s. They had six children; three sons and three daughters. It was an extremely happy marriage which was not destined to run its full course as Elizabeth died of cancer when the children were in their ’teens. This was a devasting blow to George but he faced up to the situation with outstanding courage and, apart from his professional work, he spent his whole life caring for and watching over his family's welfare and development.

In 1968 St Olave's became amalgamated with Guy's and the hospital became involved in undergraduate teaching in which George took his full share. He was elected to the fellowship of the College the following year. He thus became consultant physician to his old hospital, although his clinical work continued to be at St Olave's. He was a general physician in the full sense of the word, although perhaps with a slight bias towards cardiology in which he had been especially interested since 1956 when working as clinical assistant to Maurice Campbell [Munk’s Roll, Vol.VI, p.86] at the National Heart Hospital. He published several papers on clinical subjects and took part in clinical trials.

George Cox will be remembered as a physician whose one concern was the welfare of his patients, with whom he established excellent relationships. He was also very popular with his colleagues, both medical and others. He had an unassuming personality but this covered great courage and strength of character which were never more in evidence than when he had to come to terms with his wife's death. His hobby was photography and he got great satisfaction from reading, but his outstanding concern was for medicine and his family.

K Maclean

(Volume IX, page 101)

<< Back to List