Lives of the fellows

Arthur Charles Kendall

b.25 April 1920 d.9 May 1983
MB ChB Birm(1942) MRCP(1945) DCH(1949) FRCP(1969)

Arthur Kendall was born in Birmingham, and received his early education in his native city. He showed considerable academic ability during his studies at King Edward’s School, Birmingham; where he was recognized as a hard working scholar with great enthusiasm.

After selecting medicine as his future career, he entered Birmingham University, and passed his M and ChB in 1943, gaining a distinction in medicine, and winning the senior medical prize.

Following early house appointments in Birmingham, he enlisted in the Army in South East Asia Command and served for three years as RMO. During the latter part of his army service, he was graded as a medical specialist.

While in India, he came into close contact with the general population, and was challenged by his experience with sick children. At this time, he decided that he would specialize in paediatrics. He returned to England, and during appointments to Birmingham Children’s Hospital, quickly passed the examination MRCP in 1946. He then moved to the Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford, where he served as registrar, and later senior registrar in the paediatric department. He was appointed consultant paediatrician to Coventry Management Team in 1950, and continued this work until his retirement in 1980. He was elected FRCP in 1969.

Throughout his hospital work Arthur Kendall demonstrated great diagnostic and therapeutic skills, which were devoted selflessly to the care of his patients and the comfort of anxious parents. A kind, sympathetic man, he was always able to find that little extra time for full discussion and explanation. These attributes made him a natural teacher. He played an active part in the instruction of undergraduate medical students from Birmingham University, many of whom were attached to his firm as clinical clerks. For the last five years he took a special interest in the training of community paediatricians, and he established a diploma course in community paediatrics at the University of Warwick. He was chairman of the examiners for this diploma.

Arthur fully realized the need for close liaison between hospital and community care for children, and set up a child development unit in Coventry long before the advantages of such units were generally recognized. His frequent visits to special schools for physical and mental handicap were much appreciated and welcomed by medical colleagues and teachers alike. His interest in community care took him to (then) Rhodesia, where he served for one year as visiting professor of paediatrics in Salisbury.

The special care baby unit at the Walsgrave Hospital was also his brainchild, and thrived on his constant interest and advice. From there he conducted careful research into the prognosis of various groups of at risk babies. Kendall’s ability as a paediatrician was recognized by his colleagues when he was elected president of the Midlands Paediatric Association, and his interest in BMA affairs brought him the chairmanship of the local division.

For relaxation Arthur liked to escape from city to country to follow his chief hobbies of gardening and fishing. He retired to his country cottage in mid-Wales to enjoy these pursuits further. He married Hilda Mary, daughter of David John Moran, a Congregational minister, in 1948. They had two sons, John and Charles.

EE Jones

[Brit.med.J., 1983, 286, 1989]

(Volume VII, page 316)

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