Lives of the fellows

James Robson Hindmarsh

b.25 May 1905 d.13 October 1970
MRCS LRCP(1930) MB BS Durh(1930) MD(1932) DA(1932) MRCP(1943) FRCP(1969) JP(1947)

Robson Hindmarsh was born in Newcastle. His father was a civil engineer and head of the engineering department of the River Tyne commissioners. His mother came from an old Northumbrian farming family. He was probably attracted to medicine by an uncle he much admired, who was surgeon to the Newcastle Royal Infirmary. He was educated at Durham School and entered in 1923 the then College of Medicine in Newcastle, which was the Medical School of the University of Durham. He was a steady worker and gained several student prizes, including the much coveted Goyder Scholarship.

After two years of house appointments he was much attracted by medicine, but in those days, without private means or special influence, the path to the MRCP and specialisation was rather a thorny one. He had also become engaged to one of the attractive daughters of Admiral Crisp, which was possibly an added reason for his finally choosing general practice. He settled in Poole in 1932 and, having taken the DA, he was appointed anaesthetist to the Poole Hospital in 1934. He was an excellent anaesthetist, though he was never an enthusiastic one. The war came and he joined the RAF where, during the periods of inaction, he had the determination to read for the MRCP which he passed in 1945 - finishing the war as a Wing Commander and medical specialist.

On his return to Poole he decided to give up his general practice and was appointed to fill a vacant physicianship at the Poole Hospital. When the NHS came in 1948 he was appointed Consultant Physician to the Bournemouth and East Dorset Hospital Group.

Hindmarsh remained a general physician, but he started a much needed clinic for diabetics which proved most successful. Having been a general practitioner he understood their difficulties and requirements. He had a rather reserved character but he never shirked his share of committee work, however distasteful it was to him. He was elected FRCP in 1969, which gave him much satisfaction.

Outside medicine he played his part, having been appointed JP in 1947, and he was a keen Rotarian for many years. In his younger days, the spare time he had was spent sailing at which he became very proficient. In his later years, he bought a motor cruiser.

He retired on reaching the age limit, in 1970, and was looking forward to constructing a garden in a charming cottage he had recently bought in the Dorset countryside, and to spending more time in his boat and with his family to whom he was devoted. This sadly was not to be as the hypertension he had had for some years suddenly became uncontrollable and he died in October 1970, sincerely mourned by his colleagues and friends in all walks of life.

FP Forrest

[Brit.med.J., 1970, 4, 372; Bournemouth Evening Echo, 14 Oct 1970]

(Volume VI, page 244)

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