Lives of the fellows

Cedric Barrington Prowse

b.14 December 1903 d.2 March 1988
MRCS LRCP(1929) MA MB BChir Cantab(1931) MRCP(1933) MD(1957) FRCP(1959)

Cedric Prowse was the son of William Barrington Prowse, a consultant radiologist, and his wife Mabel Jermyn Ford. He was born in Brighton, Sussex, into a family which had an unbroken tradition in medicine since the late 18th century. He was educated at Tonbridge School, where he excelled in sport, representing his school in cricket, rugby, athletics and hockey, and before he left became head of school. He then went to Caius College, Cambridge, where he was a member of Hawks Club and of the Oxford and Cambridge Achilles Club. He obtained the natural sciences tripos MA and went on to St Bartholomew’s Hospital.

After qualification he was appointed casualty house physician, and house physician to Sir Thomas Horder [Munk's Roll, Vol.V, p.198] before settling down to practice in Brighton, where he joined the staff of the Royal Alexander Hospital for Sick Children as medical clinical assistant. After obtaining his membership of the College in 1933, he was appointed honorary assistant physician to the Royal Sussex County Hospital and became honorary physician in 1939. From 1954 he was senior physician and physician to the Brighton General Hospital and the Victoria Hospital, Lewes.

He had previously volunteered for military service in 1938 and became a lieutenant RAMC in 1940, being promoted to medical specialist with the rank of major later that year, and rising to the rank of lieutenant colonel in charge of a medical division. During the war he saw overseas service in North Africa with the British First Army, in the Italian campaign with the Eighth and Fifth Armies, and with the British Land Forces in Europe - from France through to north Germany -being mentioned in despatches.

Cedric Prowse was a physician of the old school, always immaculate, with a fresh buttonhole each day from his garden, his youthful figure belying his years, a strict observer of medical etiquette, a rather shy and distant manner, and a ready smile always just in the background.

The large and successful diabetic clinic in Brighton was mostly due to his efforts and he ran it until his retirement with skill and enthusiasm, as well as his general medical clinics. Though not a great writer for the journals, he published work on acute pulmonary oedema, scleroderma and amyloidosis, choosing the latter subject for his MD thesis.

Cedric married Jean Ogilvie Grant, daughter of Selwyn Seafield Grant, a consulting engineer, and they had four children, three sons and a daughter. There was a strong naval tradition, as well as a medical one, in the family and two of his ancestors - both Royal Navy Captains - sailed respectively with Drake against the Armada and with Nelson at Trafalgar.

Cedric Prowse was a man of high professional standards who expected those who worked for him to have the same, and who continued to work long after retirement age. His wife, four children and seven grand-children survived him.

ECB Keat

[Lancet, 1988,2,85]

(Volume VIII, page 397)

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