Lives of the fellows

Humphrey Abraham Leggett

b.16 May 1910 d.3 November 1988
MRCS LRCP(1936) MB BS Lond(1937) MD(1939) DPH(1939) MRCP(1943) DCH(1946) FRCP(1969)

Humphrey Leggett, consultant emeritus in general medicine to the Redhill group of hospitals, was the son of an engineer, Walter Abraham Leggett and his wife Emmeline Blanch. He was educated at Perse School, Cambridge, and graduated in medicine at Guy’s Hospital, London.

After house appointments at Royal South Hampshire and Southampton hospitals, he obtained the diploma in public health after studying at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He was appointed deputy medical superintendent to Redhill County Hospital in September 1940.

In 1942 he joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve and served in Ceylon, India and Singapore, as a medical specialist. During this time he obtained his membership of the College.

On demobilization in 1946 he rejoined the Redhill County Hospital staff. With the inception of the NHS he became a consultant physician in 1949 and physician superintendent in 1951. During the next two years he obtained his diploma in child health and his doctorate. For many years he carried a heavy clinical burden, caring not only for adult patients but also for children, and also for patients with mental disorders.

In 1945 he married Mary Ellen Geraghty, a former nursing sister at St Luke’s Hospital, Guildford, and they had a son and a daughter. Humphrey was a devoted family man and lived in accordance with Christian ethics. At school he had been an athlete and captain of boxing, somewhat surprising in view of his gentle manner. As a young man he played rugby, and in later years he enjoyed watching cricket and hill walking.

On the recommendation of Admiral of the Fleet Sir John Cunningham, for whom he had cared, he was elected in 1951 an honorary member of the Royal Naval Association, which gave him great pleasure for the ensuing 20 years.

Humphrey Leggett was a true general physician, whose opinion was valued by his colleagues and their families. Above all, he was much loved by patients, hospital staff and his medical colleagues. Sadly, in retirement he was disabled by a severe stroke and heart disease. He bore these disabilities with much fortitude, supported to the end by his devoted wife and family.

JPH Davies

[, 1989,518]

(Volume VIII, page 273)

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