Lives of the fellows

Leslie Valdemar Sthyr

b.17 February 1912 d.9 July 1999
MRCS LRCP(1942) MB BS Lond(1948) MD(1950) MRCP(1953) FRCP(1973)

Leslie Valdemar Sthyr had a remarkable career. For 19 years, from 1958 to 1977, he was a consultant physician in geriatric medicine at St John’s Hospital, Battersea, London. Four years into retirement, he was recruited back for active duty as a locum consultant physician still at St John’s Hospital and worked in that capacity for about two years. At the age of 70, he went to the USA, successfully sat for the licensing examination and then worked as chief of staff for nine years at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center at St Albans. He retired in 1995 at the age of 83.

Leslie was of Danish descent and the son of Herman and Nana Styhr. He completed his medical studies at the Middlesex Hospital Medical School in 1942. Soon after graduation he served for three years in the Royal Army Medical Corps (6th Airborne Division, 3rd Brigade) in the Parachute Field Ambulance in Burma, India and Hong Kong. He was demobilised as a captain.

During his 19 years as a consultant physician in geriatric medicine and as the medical director of St John’s Hospital in Battersea he was noted for his compassion and understanding of geriatric medicine and rehabilitation for elderly patients. He personally supervised 162 beds in addition to making home visits. He tirelessly spent even more hours lending his expertise in teaching two annual courses for medical students from Westminster Hospital Medical School and student nurses. He also served as the chairman of the hospital medical committee, he was a member of the group hospital medical committee and sat on the appointments committee of South West Regional Hospital Board.

Leslie Sthyr epitomised the ideal physician. He really cared for his patients and never hesitated to put their interests above everything else. It was not unusual to see him late in the evening sitting by patients’ beds talking and comforting them. He did not spare himself any effort when the well-being of his patients was at stake. He was completely dedicated to his every task.

Leslie was an outstanding teacher. His methodical and logical mind simplified for his students the most difficult of cases. His broad knowledge base allowed his students to learn complexities over and beyond the most intricate details of medicine. His true compassion for the patient and his true understanding of family dynamics aided those who were in need during the most difficult of times. Above all his many attributes, Leslie was a caring physician who was liked and respected by his patients and the staff.

In addition to his extraordinary medical career as a compassionate and noted physician and teacher, Leslie took time to enjoy the simple pleasures of life. He was very well known for his love of gardening and simple farming, and extensively studied the very intricate art of antiques. Leslie is survived by his wife, Doreen.

Ronald C Hamdy

(Volume XI, page 556)

<< Back to List