Lives of the fellows

George Edgar Septimus Ward

b.7 December 1888 d.19 March 1969
MB BS Lond(1911) MD(1913) MRCP(1914) FRCP(1921) Hon FFR(1951)

As his name implies, George Ward was the seventh son of Dr. W.J.C. Ward, the MOH for Harrogate. He was educated at Epsom College and received his medical training at the Middlesex Hospital, where he became house physician to Sir James Kingston Fowler and later, medical registrar. In 1913, while still a registrar, he was put in charge of the first electrocardiograph to be installed at the hospital, and given the title of clinical assistant to the electrical department. From 1916-1919, he served in the Navy as temporary Surgeon-Lieutenant at Haslar Hospital, and on returning from war service in 1918, he was appointed assistant physician to the Middlesex.

Ward entered the medical school at the end of a great clinical era at the Middlesex, and he preserved many of the attributes so highly developed in his teachers. He liked to make a clinical diagnosis at the bedside before resorting to laboratory tests, though he was by no means a die-hard and availed himself fully of modern technical procedures in cardiology. He was a popular and successful teacher and became an expert examiner at the University and the College of Physicians, where many less experienced colleagues profited from his guidance.

Ward’s duties with the electrocardiograph made him the most ubiquitous member of the staff, and his tall and elegant figure, immaculately clad, became a familiar feature of the hospital landscape. A kind and friendly man, he was interested in the activities of all his colleagues and was on good terms with everyone, so that he was always well informed about hospital affairs. As secretary of the Middlesex Hospital Club for many years, he had an unrivalled knowledge of the whereabouts and activities of old Middlesex men, and his vivid memories covering almost half a century at the hospital, made him a legendary raconteur of days gone by.

Ward was a dedicated teacher rather than an investigator and his publications were largely educational, but he made some original observations on the heart in anaesthesia, and on penicillin in bacterial endocarditis.

He married in 1928 Una, daughter of Dr. S. Gourlay, and they had one daughter married to Dr. Patrick Almond, and after his wife’s death, he lived with his daughter and son-in-law at Henley.

D Evan Bedford

[Brit.med.J., 1969, 2, 57; Lancet, 1969, 1, 682; Times, 21 Mar 1969]

(Volume VI, page 449)

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