Lives of the fellows

John Locke Lovibond

b.4 May 1907 d.4 May 1954
TD(1950) BA Cantab(1929) MA Cantab(1933) MB BCh Cantab(1934) MD Cantab(1936) MRCS LRCP(1932) MRCP(1935) FRCP(1943)

John Locke Lovibond, whose middle name records the family connection with the philosopher John Locke, was named after his father, a director of Newcastle Breweries, who, as an undergraduate at Christ’s College, Cambridge, founded the ‘Original Christy Minstrels’, a club of which his son became a member. His mother was Margery Christian Mary (née Robson), who came from a family of farmers settled for generations in the north of Northumberland. From Corchester Preparatory School, in Corbridge North, and Oundle School, he went to Christ’s College, Cambridge, as an exhibitioner, and then to the Middlesex Hospital with a University entrance scholarship. To it he returned as medical registrar, after holding resident appointments there and at the Westminster and Brompton Hospitals, until 1938, when he was elected to the staff of the King George V Hospital, Ilford.

All his life Lovibond was associated with the Army. At Cambridge, where he was president of the University Medical Society, he had been a member of the senior division of the Officers’ Training Corps, and in 1938 was commissioned as lieutenant, R.A.M.C. (T.), for duty as R.M.O. to the 6th Battalion, the Royal Northumberland Fusiliers. He was therefore mobilised in September 1939. He served in France, India and Ceylon, and then in South East Asia Command as colonel-in-charge of 35 and 38 General Hospitals. After a short period as consulting physician to the 12th Army in 1945 he was demobilised, but joined the reconstructed Territorial Army as a major in 1947, acting as R.M.O. to the 1st Regiment H.A.C. (R.H.A.).

By then he had returned to his appointments at the Middlesex and Ilford Hospitals. He was elected physician to Westminster Hospital in 1948, and shortly afterwards to the London Chest Hospital, Victoria Park, as cardiologist. His earlier association with R. A. Young at Brompton Hospital was continued in the St. Alban’s Medical Club and in the London Life Association.

Lovibond was remembered as a lean, athletic man, bald from his undergraduate days, At heart a countryman, he was an expert horseman who enjoyed the competition of point-to-point racing. He and his Middlesex friend, John Howkins, built a house with their own hands near Farnham in Surrey. He was a very competent, almost self-taught piper, and a gifted draughtsman and caricaturist. Always immaculately dressed, he had a quizzical humour and a gift for friendship that endeared him to every patient, porter, student and colleague.

In 1952 he married Mary Carew-Jones. He died suddenly on his birthday in 1954, while visiting her in the London Hospital, where she was recovering from an operation.

Richard R Trail

[Brit. Heart J., 1954, 16,465-7; Brit.med.J., 1954, 1, 1157-8 (p); Lancet, 1954, I, 1035 (p), 1086; Times, 10 Oct. 1954.]

(Volume V, page 247)

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