Lives of the fellows

Peter Audaer Overend Wilson

b.18 July 1918 d.11 December 1981
CBE(1981) MB BChir Cantab(1943) MA(1944) MRCP(1948) FRCP(1969)

Peter Wilson was born in Leeds, the son of Walter Audaer Wilson, a gas engineer, and his wife Gertrude Mary Sinclair. He was educated at Clifton College and St John’s, Cambridge, graduating from the London Hospital in 1943. After holding house appointments at the London, he joined the RAMC, serving in Europe and the Far East until demobilization in 1946. From 1948 to 1950 he was registrar at the Leeds General Infirmary, and registrar and senior registrar, 1950-1952, at the National Heart Hospital, London. In 1952 he was appointed consultant cardiologist to the Government of Iraq, later being appointed consultant physician to the Kuwait Government in 1953, where he remained for the rest of his life.

For some years he was senior physician at the Amiri Hospital, Kuwait, and in 1959 he was instrumental in the formation of the department of medicine at the newly built Sabah Hospital, where he was also senior physician and director of the department. He was personal physician to the Emir, and adviser to the State on all health matters. The Kuwaitis regarded him as the father of modern medicine in their country; he trained most of their physicians and also arranged postgraduate training for them in the United Kingdom. He played a major part in forming the Kuwait Medical Association and was on the editorial board of its journal, to which he contributed many scientific papers. He was also the local representative of the British Medical Association. He officially retired in June 1981, but was persuaded by the Kuwait Government to remain with them in order to give advice on the design and equipment of new hospitals. He was awarded the CBE in the 1982 Honours List but, sadly, died before the official press announcement.

His main interest was in cardiology, and the Cardiac Society meeting was a yearly event for him, but he was also an all-round physician whose skill, competence and modesty were admired by all who came in close contact with him. He enjoyed people, and had a natural charm. He was a friendly person and a generous host, both in Kuwait and at his villa in Italy. He was an enthusiastic sportsman but, being a Yorkshireman, cricket took pride of place, and his visits to this country usually coincided with a test match at Lords. He was a member of the Kuwait Cricket and Golf Clubs, and chairman of his church. He also had a wide knowledge of music and gardening. He never married.

Sir Gordon Wolstenholme
Valérie Luniewska

[Brit.med.J., 1982, 284, 757]

(Volume VII, page 615)

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