Lives of the fellows

Kenneth Derwent Allanby

b.11 June 1922 d.24 January 2002
MB BS London(1945) MRCP(1947) MD(1951) FRCP(1969)

Kenneth Allanby was a consultant physician in Peterborough. He was born in Maidstone, Kent, his early upbringing being largely in the hands of two older sisters following the early death of his parents. He was a scholar at Epsom College and then a scholar at Guy’s Hospital, qualifying in 1945 with honours in medicine, obstetrics and gynaecology.

His undergraduate career was interrupted by tuberculosis, but this did not stop him from participating in his favourite sports, cricket and golf, at both of which he excelled and also developing a lifelong interest in horse racing. At Guy’s, he also acquired his affectionate nickname, ‘the General’, which in some ways encapsulated his character, but there was also a gentler more considerate side, which perhaps was not always immediately apparent.

After house appointments at Guy’s, he secured junior appointments with Paul Wood [Munk’s Roll, Vol. V, p.456] at the Brompton and London Chest, and then was senior registrar to Evan Bedford [Munk’s Roll, Vol. II, p.28] at the Middlesex. In 1951, he was awarded the gold medal in the London MD. He then returned to Guy’s as senior assistant in the department of medicine, before his appointment as consultant physician to Peterborough and Stamford hospitals in 1961.

For nearly 30 years he was the voice of Peterborough medicine, developing the department into a major force, with two new hospitals to meet the needs of the rapidly expanding city. Always a clinician at heart, Kenneth was tireless in promoting the ideals of sound clinical practice in the context of traditional professional values. Kenneth welcomed the close links that developed with the clinical schools at Leicester and Cambridge, and was an examiner for the final MB at the latter. He served on the finance committee of the College and was a medical examiner for the Civil Aviation Authority. A staunch supporter of independent medical practice, he was largely instrumental in the establishment of Peterborough’s private hospital, being a director of its parent company, Community Hospitals. In retirement, he continued his medical links as a director of the St John’s Medical Trust.

Outside medicine, he maintained his love of horse racing, both as an owner and as course medical officer, firstly at Huntingdon and latterly at Leicester. He was also warden at his local church.

His last years were marred by the development of pulmonary fibrosis, which he bore with great fortitude. He leaves his wife, Margaret (née Williamson), whom he met at the Middlesex, and three children, one of whom is a general practitioner.

I P F Mungall

(Volume XI, page 8)

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