Lives of the fellows

Harry Alan Rees

b.7 March 1929 d.29 September 2002
BSc Wales(1950) MB BCh(1953) MRCP(1961) FRCP(1977)

Harry Alan Rees was a consultant physician in Swansea with a special interest in chest disease. He was educated at Bishop Grove School, Swansea, and the Welsh National School of Medicine. A keen and accomplished rugby player, he captained the medical school team and also played for the University of Wales.

After qualifying, Harry was appointed to house officer posts at Llandough Hospital, Cardiff, and Morriston Hospital, Swansea, after which he spent his national service in the Royal Army Medical Corps,

Having set his heart on a career as a physician, he was appointed, following national service, as medical registrar to D. A. Williams and A. J. Thomas in Cardiff, where his interest in chest disease and cardiology was first stimulated. He passed his membership examination in 1961 and shortly afterwards was appointed to a research fellowship in cardiology with A. J. Thomas at Llandough Hospital, taking a special interest in serum lipids and the treatment of hyperlipidaemia.

In 1964 he was appointed senior registrar to the university department of medicine at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, where he continued his studies in chest disease and cardiology. He was later appointed to a research fellowship and honorary lectureship in the same department.

In 1968 he returned to his native Swansea, as a consultant physician with special responsibilities for chest disease, having beds at both Morriston and Singleton Hospitals and also at Garngoch Hospital, where his patients with pulmonary tuberculosis where treated.

Despite a very heavy clinical lad, which he managed to the highest standards, he was responsible for the introduction of a very efficient fibre-optic bronchoscopy service and for setting up and administering the first modern pulmonary laboratory in Swansea.

Harry was also responsible for setting up the first coronary care unit in the area at Singleton Hospital, which rapidly expanded under his clinical leadership and administration.

He was elected to the Fellowship of the College in 1977 and he was a member of both the Thoracic Society and the British Cardiac Society. He retired in 1993, shortly after undergoing coronary by-pass surgery.

Outside medicine, Harry's great hobby was fly-fishing at which he was very expert, but he was, above all, a family man. In 1954 he married Averil, whom he had known since their school days. They had one son and two daughters to whom he was a very loving and proud father. In 1994 he was diagnosed with carcinoma of the prostate. Following radiotherapy he had a prolonged remission, but in 2001 his tumour recurred and he died at home.

Denis Daley

(Volume XI, page 474)

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