Lives of the fellows

Geoffrey Eden

b.31 March 1882 d.26 July 1959
BA Cantab(1910) BCh Cantab(1911) MB Cantab(1913) MD Cantab(1920) MRCS LRCP(1910) MRCP(1914) FRCP(1934)

Geoffrey Hoffmann (he changed his name to Eden in 1921) was born at Bradford, the son of Gustavus Julius James Hoffman, Justice of the Peace and colonel of the local Volunteers. At Giggleswick School he was captain of cricket and at Caius College, Cambridge, got his blue for both cricket and golf, but he had little interest in games after the age of thirty.

He qualified from St. Thomas’s Hospital and remained there in house posts up to that of resident assistant physician until 1916. The work this entailed, for he was left with only one over-age house man because of the call up of staff for active service, undermined his health so badly that when his turn came to enter the R.A.M.C, he was immediately granted three months’ leave. Yet such was his devotion to his patients that in two weeks he went back to the Hospital until a successor could be found.

In 1920 he joined the staff of the Queen’s Hospital, Birmingham, and at the time of his retirement in 1947 was honorary physician both to its successor, the United Birmingham Hospitals, and to the Midland Nerve Hospital.

With no modern ancillary aids, Eden was an excellent clinician and diagnostician by dint of keen observation and vast experience. His teaching was sound and practical, although his treatment sometimes seemed strange and unorthodox. He was shy and retiring, absorbed in his practice which was characterised by profound sympathy for his patients, and apparently without a hobby until he took up gardening in his last years. He married Margaret, daughter of Dr Eden, Bishop of Wakefield, in 1918, and had one son and two daughters.

Richard R Trail

[Brit.med.J., 1959, 2, 246; Lancet, 1959, 2, 131.]

(Volume V, page 114)

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