b.20 August 1915 d.9 April 1989
MRCS LRCP(1942) MRCP(1949)FRCP(1975)
Charles Downes received his medical education at King’s College, London, and St George’s Hospital, Hyde Park Corner, where he qualified. His first appointment was as house physician at St George’s. His interest in chest diseases developed when he was resident medical officer, with various other appointments, at King Edward VII Sanatorium, Midhurst, from February 1944-50. After gaining his membership of the College he went to East Anglia as consultant chest physician to Huntingdon and the Isle of Ely, 1950-75, and was later elected a Fellow. Downes was a dedicated physician and much loved by his patients. His responsibilities involved extensive travelling over a large area of East Anglia. He loved the countryside and knew exactly where to obtain the best pheasants and asparagus. Gifts of the latter were annually much appreciated.
In 1950 he married Anne, née Munnion, and they lived in Hemingford Abbots, Huntingdonshire, where their daughter Tina was born. They had the happiest of homes and he derived enormous pleasure from the beautiful garden that Anne created for them. Having a river at the bottom of the garden allowed him to enjoy arriving by water at various hostelries for a riverside meal. When his daughter, Tina, was of an age to sail he happily crewed for her dinghy at Grafham Water Sailing Club. Although he was an intensely private man, nevertheless he was most hospitable and he thoroughly enioyed parties and meeting people. Any newcomers to his village could always be sure of a welcome. He was a loyal and staunch friend and his word was his bond.
His greatest love was foreign travel and for him the days spent on the journey, by car, were as interesting as the ultimate destination. He especially loved Italy, and annually renewed his acquaintance with much loved places such as Lake Garda, Padua and Venice. It was a great joy to be introduced to such places with Charles as guide and historian. He was also a keen skier and rarely missed an annual visit to the slopes, sometimes in Italy but latterly in Switzerland, and the author greatly enjoyed joining him for skiing in Anzere on a number of occasions. His death followed a short illness, which he bore with courage, and which was a great shock and sadness to his family and friends. His wife and daughter, and two grand-daughters, survived him.
E M Cheffins
(Volume IX, page 131)
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