Lives of the fellows

Anthony David Perrett

b.27 April 1935 d.6 August 2011
MB ChB New Zealand(1958) MRCP(1965) MD Otago(1968) FRCP(1979)

Anthony David Perrett was a consultant physician at the Royal Cornwall Hospital, Treliske. Born in Auckland, New Zealand, his father was Hugh Gordon Perrett, a civil servant. His brother, Neil Richard, also qualified in medicine and became a GP. After attending Auckland Grammar School, he studied medicine at Auckland and Otago universities and Dunedin and Auckland hospitals. He qualified in 1958 and spent a year doing house jobs in Auckland, followed by a period of general practice in both New Zealand and the UK.

In 1963 he worked as a senior house officer and registrar in general medicine at St Leonard’s Hospital in London. Two years later, in 1965, he moved to the Nuffield department of clinical medicine at Oxford, where he was research registrar to Sidney Truelove [Munk’s Roll, Vol.XI, p.582] the pioneer gastroenterologist. Following this post he went to Uganda, where he was a senior medical registrar at Mulago Hospital, Kampala and an honorary lecturer in general medicine at Makere University Medical School. He remained in Uganda from 1968 to 1970 but found that he had to leave when, after independence, the regime of Idi Amin began.

On his return to the UK, he spent two years from 1970 to 1972 as a senior registrar at the Royal Devon and Exeter Hospital and the Bristol Royal Infirmary before being appointed a consultant physician with an interest in diabetes and endocrinology to the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly clinical area in 1973. While there he was responsible for totally reorganising diabetes care in the area and founding a state of the art diabetes centre in Truro for which he fundraised tirelessly, including, in 1991, running the London Marathon.

He was the author of several notable papers on gastroenterological and metabolic topics. A passionate supporter of the NHS, he held firm socialist principles and was an active member of the Medical Campaign Against Nuclear Weapons, Amnesty International and the Labour Party.

A keen sportsman he played rugby football, squash and cricket and enjoyed swimming. Other interests were music, theatre, cinema and photography, and he participated enthusiastically in local life. A frequent traveller, he returned regularly to New Zealand throughout his life.

In 1971 he married Jennifer Margaret (‘Jenny’) née Morgan whose father, William George, was a dentist. They had four children, Mark, Tom, Alice and Jack. When he died of a cerebral haemorrhage after a day spent walking and gardening, Jenny and the children survived him together with a granddaughter, Peggy.

RCP editor

[BMJ 2011 343 6928 - accessed 2 September 2015]

(Volume XII, page web)

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