Lives of the fellows

Thomas Harold Boon

b.14 June 1909 d.10 January 1994
MB BS Durh(1931) MD(1937) MRCP(1937) FRCP(1955)

Thomas Harold Boon was a consultant physician at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle upon Tyne. He was born in Wallsend on Tyne, the son of Thomas Roberts Boon, a pharmacist. His mother Lizzie (née Trafford) was a farmer’s daughter. He was educated at Newcastle Royal Grammar School and then the medical school of the University of Durham, Newcastle upon Tyne. On qualification in 1931 he obtained a number of appointments in the Newcastle area, including the post of resident medical officer at the Royal Victoria Infirmary.

He developed an early interest in gastroenterology which, in 1939, was fostered by his appointment as visiting fellow in gastroenterology at the University of Pennsylvania, USA. On his return in September 1939 he was appointed honorary assistant physician (later consultant physician) at the Royal Victoria Infirmary and during the war was responsible for beds nominally in the care of Charles Ungley [Munk’s Roll, Vol.V, p.427], then serving in the Royal Navy. During this time he was also an honorary consultant physician to several regional hospitals. From 1941 to 1950 he was part time director of the newly established Regional Blood Transfusion Service. He also took an active part in organizing and conducting blood donor sessions: all of these appointments he carried out with remarkable energy and ability.

His publications matched his interests, covering such subjects as aplastic anaemia and haemophilia as well as gastrointestinal disorders. In particular he collaborated in studies of gastric cytology with R O K Schade and had considerable experience on the use of the Hermon Taylor gastroscope.

Throughout his career he was actively engaged in clinical teaching. He was a fellow of the Association of Physicians of Great Britain and Ireland and a member of the British Society for Gastroenterology.

Behind all of these activities lay a countryman. Interested in farming he was a good shot and an adept fisherman - his favourite stream was the Coquet.

In 1946 he married Anne Rosemary Gilmour (daughter of John Gilmour, a consultant surgeon), by whom he had two sons and a daughter.

R B Thompson

[Brit.med.J., 1994,308,976]

(Volume X, page 43)

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