Lives of the fellows

Ronald Dennis Hyde

b.22 February 1930 d.26 June 2013
BChir Cantab(1954) MB(1955) MRCP(1958) MD(1963) MRCPath(1964) FRCPath(1976) FRCP(1980)

Ronald Hyde was a consultant haematologist in Southampton. He was born in Thornton Heath, Surrey, and educated at Selhurst Grammar School and then Cambridge. He graduated in 1955. After house jobs at St Thomas’ Hospital, London, he had a brief spell in general medicine, which enabled him to sit and pass the MRCP examination before embarking on training in clinical pathology at St Thomas’. Haematology training in those days was laboratory-based, embracing all the pathology disciplines. He had a brief spell as a pathology senior registrar in Portsmouth before being appointed as a lecturer in pathology at St Thomas’ in 1963.

In 1964 he was appointed to Southampton as a consultant in pathology (haematology). Ronald was thus privileged to experience the early days of the transition of haematology from its then laboratory base to its subsequent emergence as a separate clinical specialty.

Diagnostic haematology, haemoglobin disorders and blood transfusion formed some of Ronald’s key areas interest in the laboratory. On the clinical front he was very much in the vanguard of the developing clinical role of the haematologist, in both out-patient and in-patient settings. In the days before the specialty was fully accepted clinically and able to attract dedicated junior staff, he developed valuable working partnerships with medical colleagues for in-patient management of adult leukaemia and was a keen contributor to many of the earlier Medical Research Council adult leukaemia trials.

In Southampton he oversaw the development of local haematology services on both clinical and laboratory fronts, especially during the 1960s and 1970s – a period which included the expansion of laboratory facilities at Southampton General Hospital, along with the birth of the medical school.

Ronald was a quiet, thorough and caring clinician – throughout his career he ensured that he kept himself fully abreast of ongoing developments in haematology, a fact that much impressed junior doctors in the department.

Family life was of prime importance to Ronald, as husband to Joy and a proud father to his son, two daughters and his eight grandchildren. Apart from family, outside of medicine gardening, love of the countryside, walking and music were his main interests. Music was a particular passion – he had a great love of chamber music. He was a very fine and able organist and he took pride in continuing his musical studies, passing grades six to eight in music theory in his retirement.

Alastair Smith

[BMJ 2013 347 6767]

(Volume XII, page web)

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