Lives of the fellows

Thomas Raymond Savage

b.28 October 1912 d.19 December 1994
MA BM BC Oxon(1938) MRCS LRCP(1938) MRCP(1948) DCH(1949) FRCP( 1971)

It is interesting to speculate whether Tom Savage’s parental background might have determined his own interests in life. His father was a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist and both Tom and his brother followed him into medicine. His mother came from a landowning family and Tom identified strongly with country pursuits.

He was educated at Marlborough College and qualified from Oxford and the London Hospital in 1938. He served in the RAMC from August 1939 to October 1945. His service included five years overseas in the Middle East and later in India where he was a medical officer at Palel, a small village at the centre of hostilities in the Japanese siege of Imphal.

After demobilization he became a paediatric registrar at the London Hospital and was later a house physician and medical registrar at the Hospital for Sick Children, Great Ormond Street. From 1951 to 1964 he was a consultant paediatrician at Oldchurch, Romford, Wanstead, Barking and Ilford Maternity Hospitals. In 1965 he was appointed as a consultant paediatrician to the newly built Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow as well as to the Herts and Essex Hospital, Bishop’s Stortford.

Tom was a good organizer and played an important part in the planning of paediatric services at Harlow which included the very successful special care baby unit at Princess Alexandra Hospital. As a paediatrician he was conscientious and efficient and absorbed a heavy load of work without fuss. At one stage he was in sole charge of paediatrics in four widely spaced hospitals.

Tom's other great love was for country pursuits. From 1948 to 1976 he farmed 420 acres with his brother (a consultant ENT surgeon). At seven o’clock each morning he would meet the foreman to arrange the day’s work before setting off for his hospital work. He enjoyed fox hunting and regularly rode with the Essex hunt. He was also a keen shot. Travel was another hobby - especially when it involved visits to old buildings of architectural interest.

Tom was physically and mentally robust and held strong views on many subjects and was sometimes controversial. He possessed an old fashioned courtesy and although he could seem somewhat autocratic and austere to strangers, to his many friends he was well esteemed and excellent company. By nature convivial, he loved a party and was a most generous host. He married his wife Elizabeth in 1945. They had three sons and one daughter.

In his later years he suffered a small stroke which was followed by Alzheimer’s disease, during which he was looked after devotedly at home by his family.

D Q Trounce

[Brit.med.J., 1995,311,119-20]

(Volume X, page 433)

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