Lives of the fellows

Peter Graeme Arblaster

b.19 May 1920 d.1 July 2011
MB BS Lond(1946) MRCP(1949) MD(1950) FACCP(1957) FRCP(1970)

Peter Graeme Arblaster was a general physician and physician in charge of the coronary care unit, Basingstoke, Hampshire. He was born in Hampshire, the son of Margaret Gertrude Arblaster née Sutherland, the daughter of an architect, and William Arblaster, a civil servant. He was educated at Fordingbridge, Magdalen College School and then University College, London, where he studied medicine. He held house posts at University College Hospital and, in June 1944, joined the Navy as a surgeon lieutenant on HMS Urchin, and was deployed in Australia and Japan.

In 1947 he returned to University College Hospital, where he was a registrar, a post he held until 1950. He then moved to the Central Middlesex Hospital as a senior registrar.

In 1951 he went to Warwick as a consultant physician to the cardiothoracic unit. In 1965, he became physician in charge at the coronary care unit in Basingstoke, Hampshire, a post he held until 1980. During his time in Hampshire, Peter was director of the largest residential haemophilia unit and of the MRC research programme at Lord Mayor Treloar Hospital, Alton.

From 1956 to 1980 Peter was a Red Cross adviser in asthma and alpine therapy. He spent much of his time in his beloved Davos, Switzerland, where he was able to pursue his love of skiing. He was awarded a certificate of honour from the British Red Cross.

He held travelling fellowships in Canada and the US, and was a guest lecturer at the universities of Uganda, Ontario and South Africa in the late sixties and seventies.

In 1975 Peter was a consultant physician and chairman of the departments of medicine and primary care at the King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

From 1980 until 1984, Peter was director of the department of medical studies at the Armed Forces Hospital, Riyadh. From 1985 until 1989, he was director of the Royal Oman Police Hospital.

In May 1944 he married Dorothy Vaughan Watkins, known as ‘Dorsey’, a ward sister at UCH. They travelled extensively, visiting their children who had settled in Australia, Singapore and South Africa. During his retirement he climbed to Everest base camp, went white water rafting on the Zambesi and, when he was 88, visited the Antarctic. Peter and his wife finally moved to Lymington, Hampshire, where he was able to pursue his two loves of sailing and golf. Dorsey died in 2009, aged 93. Peter was survived by his son, Stephen, daughters Sally and Judith, seven grandchildren and one great grandson.

Judith Mezger

(Volume XII, page web)

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