Lives of the fellows

Norman Graham Guy (Sir) Talbot

b.16 February 1914 d.27 February 1979
KBE(1966) OBE(1945) TD(1950) O St J(1966) MRCS LRCP(1937) MB BS Lond(1938) MRCOG(1951) MD(1953) FRCOG(1960) FRCP*(1973)

Born in Hastings, the second son of the Reverend Richard Talbot MA, and his wife Ethel Stuart, Normal Talbot was educated at Great Yarmouth Grammar School and Reigate Grammar School. From there he proceeded to King’s College, London, and King’s College Hospital, during 1932-1937, for his undergraduate medical training, qualifying in 1938. Posts as house physician, house anaesthetist and house surgeon (obstetrics and gynaecology) at King’s College Hospital, during 1937 -1939, followed, and until the outbreak of war he was RMO in the private maternity wing of King’s, relinquishing the post of junior obstetric registrar in 1939 to commence his war service.

His first RAMC appointment was regimental medical officer to the 12th Light Anti-Aircraft Regiment, Royal Artillery, and in 1940, as an anaesthetist with No 5 General Hospital, he went to France with the British Expeditionary Force. He subsequently served in the Middle East as an anaesthetist and second in command of a mobile casualty clearing station. From 1943 to 1944 he was commandant of the British Medical Mission to the National Army of Liberation of Yugoslavia and commanded the Grumo Military Hospital, Italy, transferring in 1945 to the 45th General Hospital, Taranto. From 1946 to 1947 he was assistant director of medical services at general headquarters with the Central Mediterranean Forces.

After the war, Talbot obtained the following appointments: adviser in obstetrics and gynaecology to the War Office, 1951 -1958; adviser in obstetrics and gynaecology to the Ministry of Defence, 1963 -1966; OC Cambridge Military Hospital, Aldershot, 1966-1967; deputy director of medical services HQ 1 (Br) Corps, 1967-1968; commandant and director of studies, Royal Army Medical College, Millbank, 1968-1969; director general Army Medical Services, 1969-1973; and honorary surgeon to Her Majesty the Queen, 1968-1973.

His qualities as a leader were strong and became obvious from his last two posts: as director of studies at the Royal Army Medical College and as director general of the Army Medical Services, when he had to apply the very difficult requirements of the Todd report to the Army Medical Services.

Norman Talbot married Winifred, the daughter of William Kilby of Donnington, Lincolnshire, in 1939 and they had two sons and a daughter. He enjoyed the constant love and support of his wife for some 42 years. He was a deeply religious man and a staunch supporter of his local church. Subsequent to his retirement from the Army, with the rank of lieutenant general, he became medical director of the Margaret Pyke Centre in London.

Sir James Baird

* Elected under the special bye-law which provides for the election to the fellowship of "Persons holding a medical qualification, but not Members of the College, who have distinguished themselves in the practice of medicine, or in the pursuit of Medical or General Science or Literature.."

[Brit.med.J., 1979, 1, 960]

(Volume VII, page 566)

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