Lives of the fellows

Norman John Brown

b.2 March 1918 d.12 December 1992
MB ChB Bristol(1941) MRCP(1950) FRCPath(1963) FRCP(1967)

The son of a market gardener, William John Brown and his wife Lilian Rose née Hackney, Norman Brown was born in Frenchay, Bristol, and educated at Bristol Grammar School and the University of Bristol. After qualifying in medicine he served with the RAMC in the Middle East and Italy. On discharge in 1947 with the rank of captain, graded pathologist, he returned to Bristol as a lecturer in pathology. After gaining his membership of the College he was appointed consultant pathologist to Southmead Hospital in 1951. Together with this appointment, which he held until his retirement in 1983, he also held consultant appointments from 1971 at the Bristol Children’s and Maternity Hospitals.

Norman was a gentle and kindly man with a dry wit. He was friendly and courteous to all. He was also very organized, conscientious and hard working. His necropsy reports were detailed, informative and very helpful to the clinician. He was particularly distinguished for his work in perinatal pathology and the tumours of childhood. Between 1971-74 he was adviser to the World Health Organization. He was elected a member of the British Paediatric Association and was a founder member of the Neonatal Society and the Paediatric Pathology Society, as well as being a founder fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists.

At Southmead Hospital his quiet wisdom and advice was much in demand and he chaired both the education and medical staff committees. He was also a member of the hospital management committee. Between 1961-74 he edited the Bristol Medico-Chirurgical Journal and was elected president of the Society in 1981; his presidential address was based on his personal series of 16,800 necropsies.

He married Enid Gale, daughter of a farmer, in 1942. They had four children, two sons and two daughters. He was a great family man and also an enthusiastic gardener, photographer, and amateur musician - he played the French horn. He died suddenly from coronary heart disease while on holiday in New Zealand.

P M Dunn

[Brit.med.J., 1993,306,576;Bull.Roy.Coll Path., Apr 1993,82,p.9]

(Volume IX, page 60)

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