Lives of the fellows

George Secretan Haynes

b.15 July 1872 d.9 December 1961
MB ChB Cantab(1902) MD Cantab(1907) MRCS LRCP(1897) MRCP(1920) FRCP(1932)

George Haynes was born at Maidstone, the son of George Haynes, who had a well-established business in ironmongery, and of his wife, Helen Secretan; he was the eldest of a family of nine. In 1892 he went from Maidstone Grammar School to St. Bartholomew’s and after a year in house posts at the Metropolitan Hospital and the Belgrave Hospital for Children became house man at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, and an undergraduate at King’s College, Cambridge. In 1902 he entered general practice at Cambridge.

It was seventeen years before he attained his ambition of joining the hospital staff as assistant physician, although he had been honorary anaesthetist for fourteen years, a demonstrator in anatomy, and a colleague of W. E. Dixon in the pharmacology department. He had also served in the R.A.M.C, in World War I at the 1st Eastern General Hospital, and then in France as major in charge of a medical division. The result was that he was forty-seven when he decided to set up as a consultant and thereby create a precedent in East Anglia.

Success was for a time very limited; he had to eke out his income by giving anaesthetics, by occasional grants for research, and by teaching undergraduates. But it came; gradually he gained the confidence of both general practitioners and their patients, although his earlier experiences in pharmacological research made him cautious in the use of new remedies and quite content to be considered old-fashioned.

The reason was that his short, broad figure radiated sympathy and dependability despite a natural modesty, qualities that made him an admirable president of the Cambridge Medical Society, for ten years an acceptable chairman of the National Service Board, and during all his working life and in retirement a genial host.

His one hobby was philately; he had a special knowledge of stamps of medical and scientific interest.

In 1908 he married Lily Edmundson Daville Atkinson, a nursing sister; they had two sons, one of whom became a doctor, and twin daughters.

Richard R Trail

[Brit.med.J., 1961, 2, 1787-8; Lancet, 1961, 2, 1416.]

(Volume V, page 180)

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