Lives of the fellows

Nigel Charles Ronald Wyman Reid

b.4 July 1929 d.24 November 2010
MB BChir Cantab(1956) MRCP(1962) MD(1969) FRCP(1976)

Nigel Reid was the senior physician in Hastings for many years. He was born in Liverpool, where his father, Andrew Mckie Reid, was an eminent consultant ophthalmic surgeon. Nigel went to Eton in 1943 and then went up to Magdalene College, Cambridge, in 1947, where his preclinical studies only partially interfered with his colourful lifestyle. His clinical training was at St Thomas’ Hospital, where he also did his first house job in ENT. After this, he was appointed as a house physician in his beloved, native Liverpool, at the Royal Infirmary, to Sir Henry Cohen (later Lord Cohen of Birkenhead) [Munk’s Roll, Vol.VII, p.106]. He gained further experience in Liverpool, Queen’s University Hospital, Belfast, and he also served as a ship’s surgeon. In 1965, he won a place as a research fellow at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, where he published his MD on granulomata in the liver.

His professional career was spent in Hastings, where he was appointed as a consultant physician with an interest in gastroenterology in 1969 at St Helen’s Hospital and the Royal East Sussex Hospital, and later the new Conquest Hospital. He was the first specialist physician in Hastings. He introduced many aspects of modern medicine and established the gastroenterological unit including endoscopy. He was the epitome of a traditional physician – impeccably dressed, well-spoken, courteous and committed to his patients. He had no intention of building any empires or pretending to be a manager. He took pride in being a general physician rather than a narrow specialist. A sound clinician and an erudite teacher, he was a clinical tutor and led the medical division as the senior physician until his retirement in 1994. He will also be remembered for his warm and welcoming dinners and parties for junior doctors and consultants at his home. He was proud of his unit and the unit was proud of him.

Nigel Reid was a family man with many, eclectic interests. In his earlier years, he participated in numerous sports, mainly athletics, skiing and rowing. He represented Ireland in the high jump when working in Belfast. After his athletic career waned, Nigel became an excellent and dedicated golfer. He captained the Cooden Beach Golf Club and played many enjoyable, often windswept, rounds at the Rye Golf Club. He remained a fierce but amiable competitor until his final illness.

His other love was music. He had a fine and well-trained bass voice, and he played the piano with great subtlety. In his youth, he sung in the Liverpool Philharmonic Choir and he continued to be a member of several local choirs, competing regularly and successfully in music festivals. He had a love of travel before it was fashionable. He backpacked, sailed, flew and walked through Europe, America and Australasia. He joined queues that unintentionally led him to audiences with Pope John Paul II and the Sultan of Brunei.

He met and married an artist from Liverpool, Janet Monks (known as Jan), in 1970. They had a son Nicolas, who tragically predeceased him, and a daughter, Sarah, who is a general practitioner in Portsmouth. He and his wife Jan built a charming and stylish home renowned for its warm hospitality, their numerous animals and, latterly, its wonderful garden.

Nigel Reid was a fine physician and an old fashioned English gentleman. He lived for his family and friends, and in the past, for his patients. He died from a cerebral glioblastoma multiforme. He will be sadly missed by them all.

Anthony Dyson
Sarah Reid

(Volume XII, page web)

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