Lives of the fellows

Hugh Telfer Calvert

b.18 August 1915 d.26 March 1996
BA Cantab(1937) MB BChir(1940) MRCS LRCP(1940) MA(1941) MRCP(1948) FRCP(1967)

Hugh Calvert was appointed a consultant dermatologist to the Reading group of hospitals in 1949 and retired in 1980. His main contribution was the establishment of the dermatology department at the Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading, and the training of a large number of registrars who have since achieved distinction in various fields in the specialty. He was born in Darjeeling, the son of a professor of medicine in the Indian Medical Service, and educated at Blundell’s School, Tiverton, and at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.

Immediately after qualifying at St Thomas’s Hospital in 1940 he served in the RNVR and then joined the now legendary group of registrars inspired and trained in the immediate post-war period by Geoffrey Dowling [Munk’s Roll, Vol.VII, p. 163] and Hugh Wallace [Munk’s Roll, Vol.VIII, p.520] at St Thomas’s Hospital. This small group was later to disperse widely and have a profound influence on dermatology practice, particularly in the home counties and in the south west. Hugh was a founder member of the George, later to become the Dowling Club and served as it’s president. He was also president of the St John’s Hospital Dermatology Society, only the second consultant outside London to be awarded this distinction.

He was a prolific reader and will be remembered by a long line of registrars for his voluminous card index consisting of neatly typed abstracts of current literature. These he could produce at the drop of a hat as a tailor-made solution to every conceivable dermatology problem in the clinic. He was also a great Francophile and eagerly awaited the annual update to his much worn two volume Degos, which was constantly in use. This resource was enjoyed almost as much by any registrars fortunate enough to be fluent in French.

He wrote a number of articles on rarities such as the timbu fly, the carcinoid syndrome, but will be best remembered by his peers for his interest in the rippled Civatte-like poikiloderma which came to be known as Berkshire neck. Although sadly not published, the observations made by him were frequently discussed at clinical meetings.

He married his wife Donia in 1942. He died following a long period of disability resulting from a stroke.

R W Emmerson

(Volume X, page 54)

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