Lives of the fellows

William Paul (Sir) Mallinson

b.6 July 1909 d.18 March 1989
Kt MA MB BCh(1935) MRCP(1938) FRCP(1953)FRCPsych(1971)

Paul Mallinson came from two worlds, the timber trade and farming, and made medicine his calling. A shy and private man, he blossomed within his work where his kindness and infinite capacity to care could be formalized. Generations of patients and trainees have cause for gratitude.

He went to school at Westminster before studying medicine at Oxford and St Thomas’ medical school, and entered psychiatry in 1937. He spent the war years in the Royal Navy working under Desmond Curran [Munk's Roll, VoLVIII, p.118] and afterwards joined him at St George’s Hospital in London. The service and teaching programmes he and Curran developed, together with Maurice Partridge [Munk's Roll, Vol.VIII, p.372], became pre-eminent amongst the London teaching hospitals. For many years the Saturday morning postgraduate teaching at Hyde Park Corner, combined with neurology contributions, was the basis of formal training for countless young psychiatrists aiming at the DPM. The outpatient department became famously located at No 15 Knightsbridge, and the inpatient unit at Atkinson Morley’s Hospital in Wimbledon. Paul’s beloved Rover car always proudly bore the registration plate ‘15K AMH'. The professional and intellectual climate in the department was second to none, sceptical yet benevolent to a marked degree. Training as a registrar in these circumstances was a joy, so that the author of this tribute had no qualms about turning down a post at the Maudsley Hospital when the opportunity arose to work at St George’s instead. Neither Mallinson or Curran did much research themselves, though their consummate clinical knowledge and skill led to several memorable publications of a clinical kind. Almost every registrar working with them was inspired to become embroiled in clinical research within a year or two, and the subsequent publications are still sometimes quoted thirty years later. At least five of their registrars eventually went on to established university chairs. Paul used to go to endless trouble to help his juniors in their careers - more often by simply being empathic to their aspirations and a sound judge of their abilities, coupled with his wish to help them fulfil themselves.

His own conscientious approach, his endless clinical curiosity, open mindedness and modesty, provided a model which was irresistible. Trainees subject to his influence changed - as did countless patients. Many young doctors were privileged to share something of his home life. They would spend summer holidays, with their wives and children, at his lovely Bembridge home, where Paul indulged his love of cricket, sailing and gardening. In his day he was president of the St George’s medical school club, and also of its cricket club, and he knew most of the undergraduates fairly well. He eventually retired from St George’s in 1969 but continued to practice privately until he was 70 years old.

He was the third baronet and succeeded his father in 1943. He was married first to Elia Mary Guy in 1940 and they had a son and two daughters; one daughter is a doctor. The marriage was dissolved in 1968. His second marriage was to Dr Margaret Cooper Bowden, a former pupil of his, and her care - and his stoicism and good humour -made bearable his prolonged final illness. She survived him, together with the three children of his previous marriage.

A H Crisp

[Brit.med.J., 1989,299,117; The Times, 6 Apr 1989; The Independent, 3 Apr 1989]

(Volume IX, page 352)

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