Lives of the fellows

Edward Watson Hart

b.? 1911 d.23 May 1986
MBE MRCS LRCP(1936) MB BChir Cantab(1937) MRCP(1938) DCH(1946) FRCP (1949)

Edward Hart was born in Glasgow and went to the University there for a year before going to St John’s College, Cambridge, where he gained first class honours in the Tripos. He won an entrance scholarship to the Middlesex Hospital in 1933. After qualification he held house physician posts at the Middlesex and at the Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street, where he developed his interest and love for paediatrics. During the war he joined Sir Lionel Whitby’s [Munk's Roll, Vol.V, p.444] blood transfusion service and ultimately became responsible for blood transfusion in the whole of India. He was rightly awarded an MBE for his valuable work.

After demobilization he returned to paediatrics and in 1947 was appointed paediatrician to the Middlesex Hospital where he worked single-handed for 20 years, building and developing the department to the highest standard. He was also paediatrician to the Hampstead General Hospital (now the Royal Free). During this time he was the sole teacher of paediatrics to students. He was superb; always clear and decisive. Both his students and colleagues held him in great respect, and not a little awe, for he did not hesitate to criticize their work and efforts. There are many ex-students who are most grateful for his teaching. In a tribute paid to him on his retirement from the Middlesex, he was described as ‘A strict disciplinarian and woe betide any colleagues making loose statements which could not be supported by facts.’ He was a keen and active member of the British Paediatric Association, being honorary secretary in 1959-68. He contributed greatly, and was made an honorary member in 1974.

Edward Hart was a true Scot, with an attractive accent, who always went straight to the point. He had a typical Scottish sense of humour - a wee bit cynical but on the nail. Outside medicine his great pleasure was golf, in which he was no mean performer. In his younger days he had a handicap of four. As in paediatrics, he played with accuracy and scrupulous attention to the task he performed. His other hobbies were woodwork and clock making, at both of which he became a real expert, and his services were always available should they be required in his village.

All who knew Edward Hart were his devoted companions and friends. He retired to the Cotswolds with his wife Peggy, and two daughters, one of whom trained as a radiographer and the other as a nurse.

AG Watkins

[Brit.med.J., 1986,292,1742; Middx.Hosp.J., Nov 1973,73(3)]

(Volume VIII, page 213)

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