Lives of the fellows

Anthony Bernard Snell Mitchell

b.9 October 1938 d. 2011?
MB ChB Cape Town(1960) MRCP(1966) FRCP(1980)

Anthony Bernard Snell (‘Tony’) Mitchell was a consultant physician and gastroenterologist at the North Middlesex Hospital Trust, Edmonton, London. Born in East London in the Republic of South Africa, his father was Archibald Mitchell who owned and managed a brickfield. Educated at De La Salle College in East London, he studied medicine at the University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital.

Qualifying in 1960, he did house jobs at Groote Schuur before travelling to the UK, where he joined the staff of the Charing Cross Hospital (in the Strand, London) as a registrar. On becoming senior registrar he moved to the Fulham site of the Charing Cross Hospital and the West London Hospital.

In 1973 he was appointed a consultant physician to the Prince of Wales General Hospital and St Ann’s Hospital in Tottenham, and consultant gastroenterologist to the North Middlesex in Edmonton. From 1981 to 1994, he was a clinical tutor at the North London Postgraduate Medical Centre.

He was president of the clinical section of the Royal Society of Medicine in 1984 and was also a Council member, Secretary and a member of the library committee. An honorary lecturer at the Royal Free Hospital Medical School (RFHMS), he also taught at St George’s Medical School (SGMS) in Grenada.

Of his career in medicine he wrote that the 1970s were ‘expended in preservation struggles [of the older hospitals], as well as practicing medicine. [Whereas] the 80s involved maintaining clinical standards while the service contracted [and] the 90s are a time of trusts, fundholders, purchasers, and providers...hospital prosperity (survival) can be ensured by satisfying our GP colleagues in their patients’ care... I also have the additional stimulus of students from the RFHMS and SGMS in Grenada (who are gratifyingly hungry for knowledge). We serve a polyglot community from near and often far – some economic migrants, many involuntary refugees – empathetic response [is needed], also fascination with strange diseases and more frequent somatisation disorders.’

He owned a beach-side home in Aldeburgh, Suffolk and loved spending time there, walking and bird-watching (he was a fellow of the RSPB) and also supported the Aldeburgh Foundation which organised the music festival. An active member of both the National Trust and English Heritage, he also supported the local section of the Royal National Lifeboat Institute. He enjoyed pointing out that Aldeburgh was the last place in Britain of a case of malaria, transmitted from a repatriated Japanese prisoner to a milk-maid via a native mosquito.

In 1967 he married Helen Theresa née Cooke, whose father, James, was a civil servant. They had a son. By 1995 when he provided the RCP with a self-written ‘obituary’, the marriage had ended.

RCP editor

(Volume XII, page web)

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