b.26 June 1911 d.28 March 1978
BA Cantab(1932) MB BCh(1935) MRCP(1938) FRCP(1963)
Robert Longridge was born in Mobberley, Cheshire, the son of Harry Morgan Longridge, an engineer, and of Annie Victoria, daughter of the Revd Herbert Leigh-Mallory. He was educated at Winchester College, Pembroke College, Cambridge, and St Thomas’s Hospital. After qualifying in 1935 he became casualty officer and house physician at St Thomas’s Hospital. He then worked for a year as RMO at the Maida Vale Hospital for Nervous Diseases, during which time he passed the MRCP. He returned to St Thomas’s Hospital as medical registrar in 1939, but joined the RAMC at the outbreak of war and served as medical specialist. He rose to the rank of lieutenant colonel and was officer in charge of the medical division from 1943 until demobilization in 1945. He served with the British Expeditionary Force in France in the early days, and then, after a spell in the United Kingdom, went to North Africa and to the Far East.
He was appointed physician to Salisbury General Infirmary in 1948, at a time when most of his hospital colleagues were also in general practice. In 1948 he devoted himself enthusiastically to the development of the National Health Service, and played a large part in the establishment at Salisbury of a district hospital with a full complement of specialist services. He was one of the first practising physicians to recognize the importance of the involvement of clinicians in administration. He served on many advisory committees at district and regional level (and was often chairman), and was a member of the Wessex Regional Hospital Board.
Two years before retirement he gave up acute general medicine and took on the reorganization of geriatric services in Salisbury. Into this he put all his usual enthusiasm in spite of ill health, so that when he retired and a geriatrician was appointed there was an established and active department.
In 1939 he married Eleanor Margaret, daughter of John Thomas Mason. They had two sons. Robert Longridge died at Salisbury after a long illness bravely borne.
[Brit.med.J., 1978, 1, 1219]
(Volume VII, page 345)
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