Lives of the fellows

Cynthia Mary Illingworth

b.3 August 1920 d.30 August 1999
MB BS Durham(1942) MRCP(1945) FRCP(1976) Hon FRCPCH(1996)

Cynthia Mary Illingworth was a consultant in paediatric accident and emergency medicine at Sheffield Children's Hospital. She was born in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, the daughter of Arthur Blenkinsop Redhead, an electrical engineer. She was educated at Dame Allan’s School for Girls, and then studied medicine at Durham University. Her student years were affected by the war – she qualified six months early because of the shortage of doctors.

She held a house physician post at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle, under Sir James Spence [Munk’s Roll, Vol.V, p.386], and was then a registrar and resident medical officer there. She was later a research assistant under Spence.

In 1947, she was appointed as a lecturer in child health at Sheffield by the new professor, Ronald Illingworth [Munk’s Roll, Vol.IX, p.259], the first chair of child health. They married shortly afterwards. She was a medical assistant in the paediatric accident and emergency department at Sheffield Children’s Hospital and, from 1972, she was the first consultant in paediatric accident and emergency medicine in the UK. She was on many national committees on accident prevention, child abuse and service provision.

She wrote Babies and young children: feeding, management and care (London, J & A Churchill, 1954) and Lessons from childhood: some aspects of the early life of unusual men and women (Edinburgh and London, E & S Livingstone, 1966) with her husband. She also wrote The diagnosis and primary care of accident and emergencies in children: a manual for the casualty officer and the family doctor (Oxford, Blackwell Scientific, 1978), as well as papers on a variety of subjects, including poisoning in childhood, patterns of accidents and the possible regeneration of amputated finger tips.

Outside medicine, she was interested in music, painting, walking and sewing. She and Ronald had three children, Andrea, Robin and Corinne. All became doctors, and all became Fellows of the College. There are six grandchildren. She died suddenly with unsuspected carcinomatosis.

RCP editor


(Volume XII, page web)

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