Lives of the fellows

Anthony Norman Bennett

b.5 August 1934 d.14 September 1996
MRCS LRCP(1966) MB BS Lond(1966) DCH(1968) MRCP(1970) FRCP(1996)

Anthony Norman Bennett was a paediatrician who spent much of his career in the Royal Navy. He was born in Bristol, where his father was a printer, and educated at Bristol Grammar School. In 1953 he was commissioned into the Royal Navy and trained at the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth. Following an aircraft accident on RNAS Lee on the Solent he was invalided out of the Navy in 1960. He was later re-commissioned as a medical specialist.

He decided on a career in medicine and obtained the appropriate A levels by correspondence course and by attending part-time lectures at the Royal Northern Polytechnic College, Holloway, London. In 1961 he began his medical studies at Charing Cross Medical School, where he won several prizes, including the Bernard Lewis prize for paediatrics. As a mature student - he was 27 - he paid for his studies by working part-time.

He went on to house appointments at the Charing Cross Hospital. In 1968 he returned to the Royal Navy, serving as a medical officer on HMS Excellent. A year later he was appointed senior medical officer and staff medical officer to the commodore of British Forces in the Gulf, serving on HMS Jufair. In 1970 he was a medical specialist at Royal Naval Hospital (RNH) Haslar. He was then posted to Malta as a specialist in medicine and paediatrics. In 1973 he returned to RNH Haslar.

In October 1974 he passed the Armed Services Consultants Advisory Board and accredited training in paediatrics. From 1975 he was consultant paediatrician and head of the paediatric department at RNH Haslar. He was also a consultant and head of the paediatric department at the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Sick Children in Brighton from 1975 to 1979. During this period he was chairman of the South East Hampshire adoption committee and vice-chairman of the Hampshire County Council review committee for non-accidental injury to children. He published several papers on child abuse.

In 1978, when a planned maternity unit and special care baby unit had been cancelled, he decided to take premature voluntary retirement from the Royal Naval Medical Service. He was appointed as an honorary consultant paediatrician to the Charing Cross Hospital and Charing Cross Medical School, retiring in 1986. He was also a consultant paediatrician for the British United Provident Association and for the Embassy of Angola, for the Malaysian High Commission and for the Embassy of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan.

He was a member of the British Paediatric Association and a fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, section of paediatrics.

He played rugby, soccer and cricket, and had a great interest in Great Western Railway steam engines. He was married twice - for the first time in 1954 and the second, to Heather, in 1985. He had two sons and one daughter.

RCP editor

(Volume XI, page 52)

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