b.5 November 1907 d.23 May 1982
BSc Wales(1926) MB BCh(1929) MB BS Lond(1931) MD(1933) MRCP(1935) FRCP(1967)
Ernest Hywel Evans was born in Cardiff, the son of David Evans, professor of music at University College Cardiff, and his wife Mary, an accomplished violinist and singer, daughter of Richard Thomas, a steel worker. He was educated at New College School, Oxford, Cardiff High School and University College Cardiff, pursuing his clinical studies at University College Hospital, London. He qualified MB BCh (Wales) in 1929 and held house posts at Cardiff Royal Infirmary from 1929 to 1930, becoming a demonstrator in pathology and bacteriology at the Welsh National School of Medicine in 1931, and assistant to the professor of medicine from 1932 to 1934.
In 1937 he entered general practice at Hastings, becoming physician to the Buchanan Hospital, St Leonards-on-Sea, and to the East Sussex Hospital, Hastings. During the second world war he served in the RAMC as medical specialist, and later as officer commanding a medical division. He saw service in Malta, Palestine, and North Africa, subsequently serving under Brigadier Max (later Lord) Rosenheim in Sicily and Italy. He was proud of being able to look after Max when he was ill, and they always remained firm friends. He later joined the RAMC Territorial Army, gaining the TD, and retired with the rank of colonel.
In 1947 he was appointed physician in acute medicine to Glamorgan County Council. With the implementation of the National Health Service in 1948 he became consultant physician to the Rhondda HMC and to the advisory committee of the Welsh Hospital Board. From 1948 to 1973 he was a member of the medical panel of the Medical Appeals Tribunal, Wales. He was a fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, president of the Rhondda Medical Society from 1955-56, and president of the Society of Physicians of Wales, 1958. He played a large part in the development of medical services in the Rhondda, and was elected an honorary fellow of the Rhondda Medical Society shortly before his death.
In 1939 he married Mary Margaret Mackenzie (Mac), who was also a doctor and daughter of Edgar Llewellyn, a general practitioner in Cardiff. They had two children, a son and a daughter, Sarah, who became medically qualified.
He was a man of much energy and enthusiasm, devoted to his work; always ready to add extra sessions to his already heavy work load. He had a keen intellect and a marked sense of humour, being forthright when necessary but devoid of malice, though he would not tolerate any petty bickering between his consultant colleagues. He was an accomplished pianist and music was a source of great pleasure to him all his life. In his beautiful home at Cyncoed, Cardiff, his musical evenings had the character of ‘master classes’.
His family life was especially happy, his wife and children being devoted to him and sharing his love of music. They enjoyed entertaining, his wife being an excellent cook and he being an expert on wines, of which he had a good store. He read widely and enjoyed foreign travel. His hobbies included hockey, playing for Cardiff University College and the County, and sailing. He also qualified as a pilot after the war.
Sir Gordon Wolstenholme
[Brit.med.J., 1982, 285, 67-68]
(Volume VII, page 180)
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