Lives of the fellows

Ernest Haddon Minors

b.27 August 1915 d.5 February 1989
MB BCh Edin(1938) MRCP(1948) DCH(1949) FRCP(1969)

Haddon Minors was consultant physician to St Marys Hospital, Portsmouth. He was born in Darlington, the son of the borough surveyor, Ernest Minors. His mother Mary Sarah (née Caink) was the daughter of an engineer and inventor who designed and installed one of the earliest sewage disposal plants when he was the borough surveyor in Worcester. Haddon was educated at the Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, and later at Edinburgh University, where he was awarded the Wilson memorial prize for biochemistry. After graduation he was house physician to the professorial unit, Edinburgh, and house surgeon to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children. With the advent of the Second World War he joined the RNVR and served from 1939 to 1945, largely in destroyers in the Atlantic and Mediterranean, being awarded the Atlantic and Africa stars.

In 1940 he married Jean Elizabeth, daughter of Thomas Wilson, a pharmaceutical chemist. They had two sons and a daughter; they were a very close family and Jean gave him unfailing support.

After the war Haddon returned to Edinburgh as registrar to the professorial unit and junior lecturer in anatomy. He then spent a brief period at the Hammersmith Hospital before being appointed senior registrar and consultant physician to St Mary’s Hospital, Portsmouth. He was elected honorary physician to Le Count, Cheshire Foundation, in 1952. From 1955 to 1963 he was a member of the St James’s Mental Hospital management committee and in 1968 he was elected to the Le Count committee of management. Haddon was a quiet and rather private person, whose gentle manner concealed his natural warmth and considerable medical ability. He carried a heavy medical burden without ever dropping his high professional standards and was rewarded by the trust and affection of his patients. This was also true of his junior staff, who affectionately gave him the nickname of ‘Pop’ Minors.

Haddon’s real passion was horticulture and life in the Yorkshire Dales. He was a member of the Royal Horticultural Society and one time chairman of the Locks Heath Horticultural Society. He was an expert in propagation, especially of azaleas and rhododendrons, and collected all sorts of unusual plants. He and his wife bought a rather dilapidated Jacobean house and 14 acres in the deepest recesses of Wharfedale, with the infantile River Wharfe just below the house. All his free time was spent there, restoring the house and creating a superb garden around it. His colleagues became accustomed to his being ‘snowed in’ and he was always forgiven. He retired in 1976 and lived the good life in his dale, with his plants, various animals and his lathe. He became an expert on the latter. Visits to the Minors were always memorable. Haddon made light of serious illness in his last few years. He died in Airedale Hospital.

R G Moore

(Volume X, page 342)

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