Lives of the fellows

Leslie Charles Hill

b.30 August 1900 d.30 May 1983
MB ChB Birm(1924) MD(1927) MRCP(1928) FRCP(1946)

Leslie Hill was born in Wolverhampton. He was of Yorkshire stock, his father Alfred Charles Hill being manager of a steel works. He was educated at Wolverhampton School where he had a brilliant career both academically and on the sports field. He was awarded an exhibition in classics at Worcester College, Oxford, but to his lasting regret, was unable at the end of the 1914-1918 war to take this up, due to a temporary decline in the family fortunes. He decided on a career in medicine and entered Birmingham University, where he qualified from the General and Queens Hospitals in 1924; there then followed house appointments to James Russell and to Ball and Wilkinson at the Children’s Hospital, where he became resident medical officer to Sir Leonard Parsons and from whom he acquired a lifelong interest in children’s cardiac disorders.

In 1930 he was appointed physician to the Devonshire Royal Hospital, Buxton, where he remained until 1937. His work here gave him experience in the rheumatic diseases, and after a period at Hammersmith he was appointed, in 1938, registrar and later physician to the Royal United Hospital, and also to the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases at Bath, where he spent the rest of his life.

During the war he served in the RAMC in North Africa, Sicily and Italy, where he commanded a medical division in a military hospital in the rank of lieutenant colonel. He was seriously ill with typhoid and invalided home, and, after convalescence, he took up once more his hospital appointment at Bath.

Leslie Hill was a popular consulting physician and his opinion was widely sought in neighbouring West Wiltshire, where he visited the hospitals at Devizes, Chippenham, Warminster and Malmesbury, always travelling in a series of vintage Bentley motor cars. With the advent of the National Health Service in 1948, he threw himself into its organization and was a founder member of the Bath Hospital management committee. He was a member of the South West Regional Hospital Board from 1953 to 1962. He had wide administrative interests and was an excellent committee man, for which services his colleagues at Bath and in the region were always grateful. A good chairman, he was always courteous and fair; in spite of radical leanings, he displayed a conservative approach.

In 1957 he delivered the College’s Lumleian lectures, on systemic lupus erythematosus.

Leslie Hill was a great sportsman and a good cricketer - he played regularly until he was 55 for the Lansdown Cricket Club and was president of the club - one of the oldest in the country and whose ground adjoins the Royal United Hospital - until his death. He enjoyed his membership of the MCC and travelled as a fervent supporter on many of the tours in Australia, South Africa and the West Indies. He never missed a test match. He was also an expert dry fly fisherman and an excellent shot. His hobbies were essentially physical and in the field; as he grew older and suffered the disabilities of age, he felt himself deprived, and he then sought to immerse himself in his reading.

He was always supported up to the hilt by his devoted wife, whom he married in 1930. Emma Marion Robertson was the daughter of the famous jam and marmalade manufacturer. On her death he was a lonely figure, but was faithfully supported by his only child and daughter Alison and her husband Anthony - they were his lasting joy.

DW Pugh

[Brit.med.J., 1983, 287, 768]

(Volume VII, page 265)

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