Lives of the fellows

John Arnold Glover

b.10 March 1915 d.4 April 1997
BA Cantab MRCS LRCP(1939) MB BChir(1939) MRCP(1948) MD(1949) FRCP(1968)

John Glover was a truly general physician whose working life at the South East Kent area group of hospitals was spent without colleagues in cardiology, gastroenterology, haematology, endocrinology or renal medicine. He was born in Coventry and trained in medicine at Cambridge, where he gained a first class degree, and at the London Hospital. He qualified as the war began and joined the RAMC after one house job. During the war he was a prisoner of the Japanese, an experience of which he never spoke. After the war he continued his training as a physician at the Hospital for Tropical Diseases and the Hammersmith Hospital before posts as registrar and senior registrar at the London Hospital. He went on to obtain his MD in 1949.

He was appointed as a consultant physician to the South East Kent group of hospitals in 1955. At that time there were four hospitals in the group, at Deal, Dover, Folkestone and Ashford. Acute admissions were at Dover, Folkestone and Ashford and there were three physicians who covered paediatrics as well as general medicine. There were no registrars or senior house officers. The workload was extremely heavy and continued with little change until 1971 when an additional physician was appointed and paediatrics became a separate speciality.

He had an excellent memory and enormous experience which he shared willingly with his junior colleagues. His workload left little time for research or private practice, in neither of which was he greatly interested. His notes reflected his interest in his patients’ lives and problems, and he wrote succinct letters, illuminated by his dry sense of humour. One of his outstanding characteristics was his depth and breadth of knowledge: he read widely and could truly be described as erudite.

Typically, in his biographical details submitted to the College, he states "Interests and hobbies: nil." Nothing could be further from the truth. John had a large garden which he tended assiduously and which gave him much pleasure. It included a grass tennis court and a large vegetable patch. His home was furnished with antique furniture and a visit there was incomplete without a glass or two of deceptively potent home made beer.

John’s life was centred upon his home, his wife, Tess, and his three children, and he was not greatly interested in social events or travel. His retirement was blighted by deafness and by increasingly poor vision, despite which he maintained his wit and sense of humour to the last. He was sorely tried by his terminal illness, mercifully brief, in which he sustained a sudden paraplegia due to a lymphoma.

ADC Norris

(Volume X, page 168)

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