Lives of the fellows

Ralph Adair Peebles Brown

b.8 Feb 1919 d.10 March 2000
BA MB BChir Cantab MB ChB Glasg FRCPS Glasg MRCP(1949) FRCP(1973)

Note: the first obituary (below) was published in print form in Volume XI; the second was received after publication of the printed edition.

Ralph Adair Peebles Brown was a consultant physician in Cheshire. He was born in Glasgow, the son of David Peebles Brown, a doctor, and Elizabeth Purdie Cowie, the daughter of a merchant. He was educated at Bramcote School, Scarborough, and then Shrewsbury. He went on to Cambridge and then Glasgow University.

After a post as a house surgeon at the Western Infirmary, Glasgow, he became a surgeon lieutenant in the RNVR in November 1943 and served until July 1946.

Following demobilization, he returned to the Western Infirmary as a postgraduate clinical assistant. He was then a medical registrar and a senior medical registrar at the Royal Infirmary, Glasgow. From 1956 he was a senior hospital medical officer in general medicine at Stobhill Hospital. In 1961 he was appointed as a consultant physician at the South Cheshire Hospital Group, a post he held until his retirement in 1984.

He was a keen oarsman at Cambridge, and also enjoyed climbing, leading to his lifelong love of hill walking. He was well read, and had a keen, enquiring mind. In his retirement he relearnt French and German. He was interested in historical buildings and architecture, and spent many hours creating gardens in Cheshire and Somerset. He married Doris Agnes Rothery Lunn in 1947 and they had two sons (one of whom became a GP) and a daughter (now a consultant in intensive care).

Sarah Jane Gillam

[References:Brit.med.J.,2000,320,1409]

Ralph Peebles Brown was a man of principle, integrity and humility. Son of a Glasgow GP, he won a scholarship to Shrewsbury School and from there went to Cambridge to study medicine, thereafter choosing Glasgow for clinical studies. He qualified in 1943 and became a house surgeon in Glasgow Western Infirmary, before entering the RNVR. He served as a surgeon lieutenant aboard the light aircraft carrier HMS Ameer, sailing mainly in the Far East. After three years service he returned to hospital duties in the Western Infirmary, Royal Infirmary and Stobhill Hospital, Glasgow. In 1961 he was appointed consultant physician to Crewe Memorial Hospital.

In 1971 hospital services in south Cheshire were transferred to Leighton, a large new district general hospital on the outskirts of Crewe. Peebles Brown was active in helping to establish specialist facilities in the new hospital. He had his own ward and continued to practice general medicine until his retirement in 1984.

His modest, sincere and courteous demeanour, along with a dedicated enthusiasm for his job, endeared him to all his patients, as well as his colleagues. He was never flustered by adverse circumstances and maintained an equable temperament no matter how frustrating the situation.

An accomplished oarsman in his Cambridge days, as well as a keen hill walker, he also had a lifelong enthusiasm for gardening and architecture. He was well read with wide ranging intellectual curiosity. In retirement he relearned French and German.

Peebles Brown died from metastatic carcinoma. He was survived by his wife Doris, two sons, one a general practitioner, and a daughter who is a consultant in intensive care.

John Hall

(Volume XI, page web)

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