Lives of the fellows

Rawdon Augustus Veale

b.13 March 1873 d.13 August 1954
BA Oxon(1896) MB BS Lond(1906) MD Lond(1910) MRCS LRCP(1905) MRCP(1910) FRCP(1924)

Rawdon Augustus Veale, consulting physician to Leeds General Infirmary, died at the age of eighty-one. His father, a very distinguished general practitioner of Harrogate, was Dr Richard Veale, J.P. His mother was the former Laura de Paiva. He was educated at Rossall where he was head of the school and won open scholarships to both Oxford and Cambridge, but chose Oxford and entered as a scholar at Queen’s College in 1893. After obtaining his degree in Greats in 1896 he took a teaching appointment at Lockers Park Preparatory School at Hemel Hempstead. Despite the strong family tradition towards medicine, it was a relative, Professor Hey, of Liverpool, who finally made him decide to turn to medicine, and in 1901 he entered the Leeds Medical School.

His first appointment was as house physician to Dr Barrs, and thereafter he held a series of resident appointments in the Infirmary, being appointed resident medical officer in 1920. In those days this was a definite stepping stone towards a staff appointment and he was elected an assistant physician in 1912, physician-in-charge of out-patients in 1922, and a full physician in 1925. In 1933 he retired from the honorary staif under the age rule.

During the First World War Veale served in the R.A.M.C, in France, ultimately holding the rank of lieutenant-colonel. On his return to Leeds he was appointed lecturer in clinical medicine and diseases of the skin, and was responsible for organising the dermatological department. In 1925 he was appointed to the part-time chair of therapeutics which he held until 1932, and in the year prior to his retirement he held the chair of clinical medicine.

Veale was stern in his manner, but was a very human person, greatly respected by students, patients and general practitioners. His nickname of ‘Daddy Veale’ was one of real affection. He was essentially a general physician interested in clinical methods and very concerned that the profession should maintain the highest standards of ethical conduct. He was sceptical of investigational procedures and relied very largely on the five senses. He was very conscientious in attending the meetings of local medical societies, but he contributed little to the medical press.

His original classical training convinced him that a classical education was a sound introduction to medicine and he remained a competent classicist. One of his great joys latterly was the winning of a Times' Greek crossword. In addition to his appointment at the Infirmary, he held appointments at the Leeds Maternity Hospital, then a separate institution, the Leeds Public Dispensary and the St. James’s Hospital.

After his retirement he continued to practise, and during the Second World War took up the duties of some of his junior colleagues who were on active service, and taught therapeutics. He was intensely interested in the training and welfare of nurses to whom he gave bedside teaching and routine medical lectures. He was also an active member of the Nursing Committee and was responsible for the interviewing and medical examination of all applicants.

A competent sportsman in his younger days, he retained a life-long interest in cricket and it was most unusual for him not to find a few hours to be present at any county or Test match played at Headingley. Latterly he took up golf and was a most entertaining partner, capable for short periods of a most unexpected skill, and he continued to enjoy a full round until the age of eighty.

Dr Veale was a loyal churchman and in the real sense truly a religious man. He took an active interest in his local church and was for over thirty years chairman of the Parochial Church Council. He married Frances, daughter of Bishop Drury, one time bishop of Ripon; they had two children, a son who entered the medical profession, and a daughter.

Richard R Trail

[Brit.med.J., 1954, 2, 541 (p); Lancet, 1954, 2, 392-3; Univ. Leeds med. J., 1954, 3, 140-41 (p).]

(Volume V, page 431)

<< Back to List