Lives of the fellows

Eileen Elise Hill

b.21 August 1924 d.2 January 2010
MB ChB Glasg(1950) MRCP(1954) DCH(1956) MD(1960) FRCP(1973)

Eileen Hill was a consultant paediatrician in Birmingham. Renowned amongst those who knew her for being an exceptional diagnostician, even outside her own field, Eileen dedicated many years to treating ill children, working in particular to treat premature babies.

She was born in Lymm, Cheshire. Her father, Charles Edward Hill, an engineer, managed an Indian ordnance factory complex at Ishapore near Calcutta, while her mother, Muriel Elise Hill (née Talbot), looked after their five children in Dollar, Clackmannanshire, Scotland, and visited India in the cool season. Eileen attended Dollar Academy from 1935 to 1940 and Lawrence College, Murree, India, from 1942 to 1944.

Eileen gained her first experiences in the medical field whilst working as a nurse for the Voluntary Aid Detachment in Rawalpindi and Calcutta during the last few years of the Second World War. She carried out duties in first aid and home nursing, as well as undertaking training as a theatre assistant.

In 1945 she flew from Calcutta to the UK in a flying boat, a six-day journey involving overnight stops in five countries along the way. This was her most prized experience, and a brave one for a young woman in her early twenties.

Eileen then studied medicine at the University of Glasgow, winning the Lorimer bursary in botany for the sum of £20 in 1946. She graduated MB ChB in 1950.

She held house posts in Glasgow, and was then a resident medical officer at Birmingham Children’s Hospital. In 1954 she was a senior house officer in Stratford-upon-Avon. From 1956 to 1957 she was a paediatric registrar in Oxford, gaining her diploma in child health in 1956. She then returned to Birmingham Children’s Hospital as a senior registrar. She was subsequently appointed as a consultant paediatrician for the east Birmingham group, later as a senior paediatric consultant at Marston Green Hospital in Birmingham.

From 1973 to 1976 she was a member of the council of the British Paediatric Association.

In 1975 she revised the medical textbook The preterm baby: and other babies with low birth weight (Edinburgh, Churchill Livingstone, eighth edition).

Throughout her working life, Eileen managed to pursue her love of horses. She kept horses for riding and mares from which she bred racehorses. She continued this into her retirement. Her other interests included gardening and painting.

She retired in 1987 and spent her retirement living near Twekesbury. She died peacefully in Uplands Care Home in Maisemore, Gloucestershire, and was survived by her sister Sheila and brother John.

R J Hill

(Volume XII, page web)

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