"b.16 Mar 1900 d.22 Aug 1989
CBE(1965) BA Cantab(1921) MRCS LRCP(1923) MB BCh(1924) MRCP(1926) MD(1927)FRCP(1932)"
The son of a solicitor, Charles Newman was born at 42 Gower Street, London. His father, Charles Arnold Newman, who came from the family firm in Barnsley, practised at Upperton’s - next door to the Royal College of Surgeons. He had met and married Kate Beck, the daughter of a Loughborough coal merchant, while being a temporary schoolmaster there. By her, he had two other sons, James Lister, who became a member of the College and a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College; and Rudolf, an engineer captain in the Royal Navy.
Charles had no formal education before the age of 12; then he went to Mill Mead School in Shrewsbury for a year before going on to Shrewsbury School, where he was greatly influenced by Cyril Alington and Ronald Knox but did very badly to the grief of his parents. He left school in 1918 and spent the summer in the Oxford University OTC, though irregular heartbeats - of no significance - were regarded as a bar to more active service. He was demobilized in 1919, in time to go to Magdalene College, Cambridge, where he passed the first MB in two terms and the second in two more, but only achieved a second class in the Natural Sciences Tripos - a failure which he felt saved him from a fellowship and a dangerously comfortable life. He went on to King's College Hospital and qualified with the Conjoint. Various house appointments followed at the Belgrave Hospital for Sick Children and at King’s. G F Still, later Sir Frederic [Munk’s Roll, Vol.IV, p.432], under whom he served as children’s house physician, thought him the worst he had ever had except for Terence East [Munk’s Roll, Vol.VI, p.157]. He did two years as Sambrook medical registrar and, in a whirl of enthusiasm for medicine and research, subsequently spent six months in Freiburg as volunteer assistant to Aschoff. In the same year he was made junior physician at King’s, and morbid anatomist and medical tutor, as well as vice-dean. As vice-dean he was largely responsible for the completion of the medical school’s buildings. He was devoted to King’s and was made full physician in 1938 and offered the deanship, but he gave it all up to become sub-dean of the new Postgraduate Medical School at Hammersmith. His first duty was to run a central office in London and try to coordinate all postgraduate teaching in the capital with the Postgraduate Medical School. At the outbreak of the second world war he took charge of the children’s wards in the hospital, ran the Home Guard, and gradually took over the work of the School until the retirement of the dean, Colonel Proctor, in 1946.
With his secretary, Connie O’Driscoll, Newman - now dean -reorganized the administration of the School, obtained hutted accommodation for new laboratories and enrolled postgraduate students in numbers never envisaged before. Realizing that the School, built in 1935, had been underfunded and was too small, he became the coordinator for all the necessary new buildings - a lecture theatre complex (the Wolfson building opened in 1961), the Medical Research Council cyclotron unit and radiochemical laboratories (1955) and the new School itself (the Commonwealth building, 1966). By the time he retired in 1965 and was made a CBE, the Royal Postgraduate Medical School had assumed not only a premier role in British medical education and research but also internationally, especially within the Commonwealth.
During this period he had found time to serve as a governor of St Clement Dane’s Grammar School, next door to the hospital, eventually becoming chairman - an association which spanned nearly 40 years.
When Sir Charles Dodds [Munk’s Roll, Vol.VI, p.151] became president of the College in 1962, Charles Newman was an obvious choice to succeed him as Harveian Librarian, an office he graced for seventeen years. In his witty after-dinner speeches he always contrived to find something fresh to say of an exhibition that might not have been changed; he presided over the"
(Volume IX, page 391)
<< Back to List