Lives of the fellows

Philip Edwin Kilby

b.4 February 1925 d.7 July 1991
MB BS Durh(1952) MRCP(1962) FRCP(1981)

Philip Kilby was the son of William Kilby, a builder. He was born in Nottingham and on leaving school, during the second world war, he spent three years, from 1943-46, in the Royal Navy Patrol Service as a wireless telegraphist. This was part of the supporting fleet off the coast of Normandy for the Allied liberation of Europe and it was as a consequence of this service that Philip developed a lifelong love of France and its people, together with a great interest in amateur radio.

On demobilization he entered Durham University to study medicine, undertaking his clinicals at the Royal Victoria Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne. It was while he was a medical student that Philip met his wife, Gwen Forster Rennie, a nurse at the hospital. They were married in 1951.

As with many ex-servicemen, Philip went into general practice but four years were more than enough to persuade him that the challenges he wished to face lay elsewhere. He took a medical registrar job in Bradford to give himself a general background before moving into dermatology. He trained in his specialty at Oxford, and subsequently at Johns Hopkins Hospital, Baltimore USA (where he was a fellow in medicine) and St Johns Hospital for Diseases of the Skin, London. In 1965 he was appointed consultant dermatologist to the Nottingham hospitals, where he worked until his retirement.

Although essentially a broadly based clinician, he had a keen interest in ethical and medico-legal matters and was a good, forceful debater. He kept well in touch with his specialty and was a past president of the Midlands Dermatological Society. Outside medicine, in addition to his interest in amateur radio, he had a love of music and theatre.

Philip was a tall, raw-boned, modest individual with a great sense of humour and a hearty laugh. But beneath this there was a serious and very patriotic approach to life. He was a strong fighter for friends and patients and was ever ready to battle in public or private for their several causes, or for issues of a principle in which he believed, and he was utterly consistent.

Philip received great support from his devoted wife Gwen. They had one son, Edwin, a barrister, of whom Philip was prouder than he would admit. Sadly, just when he was enjoying a happy and well earned retirement, and Gwen and he had celebrated their ruby wedding with their many friends, he became ill. His last short illness was borne with great fortitude in a way which was absolutely typical of the man.

M A Cowan

(Volume IX, page 295)

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