Lives of the fellows

Richard Thomas Stanley Gunn

b.13 September 1916 d.7 February 1995
MB ChB Glasg(1938) FRFPS(1947) MRCP(1948) FRCP Glasg(1964) FRCP(1972)

Richard Thomas Stanley Gunn, always known as ‘Stanley’, was a quiet man who did not seek the limelight. Yet during the few years that I shared a ward with him I developed a great admiration for his depth of knowledge and for his abilities as a clinician. His clarity of exposition, allied to his keen sense of humour, made him a very successful clinical teacher. As a general physician his services were in demand in the teaching hospitals, notably at the Royal Beatson Memorial Hospital in Glasgow and also at Rothersay and Dunoon Hospitals - which involved regular trips across the Firth of Clyde.

He was born in Glasgow, the son of Richard R Gunn and his wife, Jane Currie. His father was a merchant tailor in the city and his uncle, Sir James Gunn RA, was the noted Scottish artist. Stanley was educated at Glasgow Academy, together with his twin brother John, and he decided to study medicine at Glasgow University, graduating with commendation, while his brother chose a career in physics. The advent of war led to a parting of their ways and Stanley served in the RAMC from 1940 to 1946, spending much of that time in the Middle East. But for the greater part of their professional lives the twins were both on the staff of Glasgow University; Stanley as an honorary clinical lecturer in medicine and his brother, now Sir John, as professor of physics. In retirement they were familiar figures playing together at the Glasgow Golf Club.

Following demobilization in 1946, Stanley returned to Glasgow to train as a physician, first at the Western Infirmary and later at the Law Hospital in Lanarkshire where he met a charming pharmacist, Rita King, whom he married in 1953. He returned to the Western Infirmary as a senior registrar and was appointed a consultant physician in 1954.

He had many interests outside medicine, including music and golf. He was an elder of the Church of Scotland for more than 40 years and essentially a family man. During the last year of his life he displayed tremendous courage when both he and his wife were suffering from cancer. Rita died a few weeks before Stanley. There were two children of their marriage, Christine and Richard.

Hugh Brebner

[Brit.med.J., 1995,311,449]

(Volume X, page 180)

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