Lives of the fellows

Edwin Charles Warner

b.20 April 1900 d.6 January 1968
BSc Lond(1921) MRCS LRCP(1925) MB BS(1927) MRCP(1927) MD(1929) FRCP(1936)

Edwin Warner was a general physician who graduated with first class honours in physiology from the University of London in 1921. He won the junior entrance scholarship to Guy’s and passed the Primary FRCS before qualifying with the Conjoint diploma in 1925. He graduated MB BS in 1927 and passed the MRCP in the same year. He obtained his MD in 1929 and the following year he was awarded the BMA Ernest Hart research scholarship. He was elected FRCP in 1936. While at Guy’s Hospital Medical School he held at various times the appointments of University of London research student in physiology, Parsons research fellow, and demonstrator in physiology and pharmacology. Later he became senior medical registrar at Guy’s Hospital, physician to the children’s department of the Miller General Hospital, and physician to outpatients, Dreadnought Seamen’s Hospital, Greenwich.

In 1931 he was appointed to the honorary consultant staff of Charing Cross Hospital, and in 1936 received a similar appointment at Putney Hospital. During the wartime evacuation he became medical superintendent of Ashridge (EMS) Hospital, Berkhamsted, and later joined the staff at the New Victoria Hospital at Kingston-upon-Thames, as honorary consulting physician. He was for six years Dean of Charing Cross Hospital Medical School, holding previously the office of sub-dean, and was for some twelve years a member of the Senate of the University of London. Honorary editor for six years of the Proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine and a member of its Council and General Purposes Committee for fifteen years, he still found time to make contributions to Savill’s System of Clinical Medicine and to edit the 1944, 1950 and 1964 editions. From 1948 to 1960 he was honorary secretary of the Fellowship for Freedom in Medicine and throughout his whole career maintained an extensive private consulting practice.

His achievements sprang from his capacity for hard work. He had great erudition, but a modesty that prevented this being readily apparent. He was so conscientious that his attendances at every committee and sub-committee, and his exhaustive examination of every system of every patient became an obsession. He prepared each lecture with the care that most colleagues would devote to their first. He was always considerate and gentle with his patients, but in his personal contacts there was a slight barrier, bom not of pride or lack of warmth but of shyness. The defect in his sense of humour was more apparent than real, but because of his innate reserve this was only apparent to those who knew him well. His wife was the perfect foil with a superb sense of fun that lightened up the human aspect of her husband’s life. His political interest was so great that he kept The Times in his bedroom to read when he found the opportunity. Eventually, the room was full and the ultimatum was issued ‘either they go, Teddy, or I do’. Another story describes how his wife was anxious for him to examine their daughter when she was unwell. The only time that could be found was at the end of one of his extremely long outpatient sessions. They sat down and Teddy looked up and asked ‘and what can I do for your little girl, mother?’ His wife told the story with glee and affection. It seemed to sum up the love which his family had for this fine man. He had no time for hobbies or recreations but in his later years, for part of most weekends, he relaxed with his family and friends at his house near Bognor Regis.

He was typical of those that served London teaching Hospitals so well. He never abused the privileges that his position gave him and never allowed his private practice to encroach on his commitments to hospitals and medical school. He dedicated his life to medicine.

PBS Fowler

[Brit.med.J., 1968, 1, 187, 581; Lancet, 1968, 1, 152; Times, 9 Jan 1968]

(Volume VI, page 450)

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