Kt., M.D. Lond., F.R.C.P.
Sir John Parkinson, consulting physician to the car-
diac department of the London Hospital and to the
National Heart Hospital,
died on June 5 at the age of
91; he was one of the worldâs
leading authorities on heart-
He joined the London, which
he regarded as his medical
home, in 1903; there he was des-
tined to succeed Sir James
Mackenzie as leader in the car-
diac department. Through his
work, teaching, and writings, he
became as well known and
revered abroad as in this
country. He was president of the
European Society of Cardiology;
honorary member of the Inter-
national Congress of Cardio-
logy, and of the French Society
of Cardiology; and honorary fellow of the American College of
Physicians. The International Heart Foundation awarded him
their "Gold Stethoscope". The University of Glasgow and the
National University of Ireland conferred on him honorary doc-
torate degrees. The Medical Society of London awarded him
the Fothergill gold medal. The Royal College of Physicians
presented him with the Moxon medal, and appointed him Har-
In his researches, John Parkinson contributed liberally to
the advancement of knowledge in many sectors of cardiology,
never allowing his gaze to stray from his avowed object of im-
proving the diagnosis of heart-disease in order to bring it
within the compass of practical therapy. Such researches con-
cerned cardiac dysrhythmia, rheumatic fever and heart-dis-
ease, the heart in goitre, heart-failure, and especially coronary-
artery disease. He described the help gained in diagnosis
through the electrocardiogam, and especially from the radio-
logical examination of the heart. He had grown impatient with
the traditional claim that percussion could determine the shape
and size of the heart. He called percussion a dying method,
packed with fallacies and imperfections, with the token of
sterility upon it. He maintained that cardiology should
advance and develop beyond post-mortem findings which were
static; through radiocardiology we could reach a more vital
anatomy and dynamic pathology of the living heart, perform-
ing as it were a biopsy of the heart.
In earlier days, he fought for recognition of cardiology as
a specialty within medicine; that he acted wisely on this score
has been amply justified, for it assured for this country a safe
place in the van of modern cardiology. His wise leadership in
clinical cardiology will be remembered as long as hearts keep
beating, and an age ahead will rediscover the truths he taught
so convincingly at the bedside. He did not decry a searching
investigation of a patientâs illness, and electrocardiography
and radiology were never omitted in uncovering concealed
heart-disease, or making its nature better understood, but he
warned sternly against unneeded investigations in a stinging
epigram: "There is always a moment when curiosity is a sin."
It is not only what John Parkinson did and said that has so
materially benefited our knowledge of the heart in health and
in disease, but also the way he said it. His writings and lectures
abound with examples of those happy turns of phrase which
fell so naturally from his pen and so authoritatively from his
lips. Parkinsonâs whole life was spent in search of perfection.
This is emphasised by the purity of his prose, and the orderli-
ness of his examination of, and his dealings with, patients.
This was in line with his dictum that when dealing with
humanity you must needs be humane. He sought perfection,
too, in the lay-out of his garden, and in the choice of furniture
and paintings in his home and consulting-rooms; he himself
was no mean painter in water-colour, and he appreciated the
austerity of Paul Nashâs paintings. Similarly, he sought perfec-
tion in his assistants, whom he invariably befriended and
helped; this standard they endeavoured to reach, for he had
carved a pattern and example which they wished dearly to
emulate, although failing to achieve it fully. As we honour the
passing of Sir John Parkinson, we pay our tribute to a great
physician, scientist, and teacher, and to a true friend.
GEOFFREY BARROW DOWLING
M.D. Lond., F.R.C.P., Hon. D.M. Utrecht, Hon. M.D. Pretoria
Dr G. B. Dowling, consulting physician to the skin
department, St. Thomasâ Hospital, London, and for-
merly director of the Institute of Dermatology, died on
June 1 at the age of 84; he was largely responsible for
the post-war expansion of dermatology in Britain.
He was born in Cape Town and began his education in
South Africa, continuing after the move to England at Dul-
wich College and Guyâs Hospital, where he graduated M.B. in
1920 and M.D. in 1921, having served as a cavalry trooper in
the 1914-18 war. Following hospital appointments in general
medicine and pathology, he decided to specialise in dermato-
logy, and worked in the skin departments at Guyâs and the
West London Hospitals before joining the consultant staffs at
St. Thomasâ Hospital and St. Johnâs Hospital for Diseases of
the Skin. He was appointed director of the Institute of Derma-
tology, University of London, in 1952. He served as consultant
in dermatology to the R.A.F., and as president of the British
Association of Dermatology and of the Dermatological Section
of the Royal Society of Medicine.
His wife died in 1965; he is survived by two sons and two
G. C. W. writes:
"Dr Dowling was an outstanding clinician who had a pro-
found influence on the development of dermatology over the
past thirty years. He was a great expert on cutaneous tubercu-
losis and his discovery of high dose calciferol as the first effec-
tive treatment of lupus vulgaris aroused world-wide interest.
He made important contributions to our knowledge of sclero-
derma and dermatomyositis, which were distilled into his Wat-
son Smith lecture at the Royal College of Physicians in 1953.
Above all, he got through to the next generation and
encouraged clinical interest and investigation; many of todayâs
consultants were trained by him and remain his devoted fol-
"As the first director of studies at the Institute of Dermatol-
ogy he suggested and encouraged investigative work in such
subjects as contact sensitivity and photobiology, with far-
reaching results. His early experience in pathology led him to
encourage the study of the histopathology of the skin, which
ensured its pre-eminence in this country. He had an extraordi-
nary facility for grasping the essence of a problem and for
rejecting the superfluous, and any sort of pretentiousness was
utterly repugnant to him. His unassuming charm and dry wit
had very wide appeal. His journals club evolved into the
famous Dowling Club, with its monthly meetings, its visits to
regional centres of dermatology, its annual meeting abroad, its
Dowling oration, and its Dowling travelling fellowship. His
idea was to encourage friendship and the exchange of ideas
amongst those in training.
"There was an 18th-century completeness about Dr Dowl-
ing, with his intense intellectual ability and his wide knowl-
edge of music and of painting. He was no mean rugby player
and a competent golfer, and on social occasions his staying-
power was prodigious. His superb professional ability was an
example to all, and his influence on dermatology is immeasur-
A. L. adds:
"Dr Dowling was a paradoxical phenomenon: he had enor-
mous influence on the development of his specialty, and yet his
didactic gifts were apparently meagre. He is the reason why
half the present British dermatologists chose dermatology, and
yet if you asked him why he had written lupus erythematosus
on the case-sheet, all he would say was âbecause it looks like
itâ. It was obvious to us that he knew what he was doing, and
there was a challenge in trying to analyse the hidden thought
process that informed his pen. His relaxed attitude towards
young people, and his interest in them, together with his sin-
gle-minded pursuit of dermatology, was the basis of the trust
that he inspired. Humble enough to admit when he didnât
know something, there was nothing fumbling or soft about the
way that he championed dermatology. While he sought no re-
ward for himself, those he trained were disappointed that his
outstanding contribution attracted no official honour, but they
will long remember his work and pass its influence to succeed-
GEORGE GORDON BRUCE
M.B.Aberd., F.R.C.S., Hon. F.R.C.S.E.
Mr. G. Gordon Bruce, consultant emeritus to the
Royal Infirmary, Aberdeen, died on June 6 at the age of
He qualified with honours in 1915, and spent his war years
in France and the Dardenelles, receiving a mention in dis-
patches in 1918. Returning to Aberdeen, he became F.R.C.S. in
1921 and was appointed consultant surgeon to the Royal Aber-
deen Hospital for Sick Children in 1925 and to the Royal In-
firmary in 1927. He was consultant surgeon to the Royal
Family in Scotland from 1939 until his retirement in 1957.
To send forth unqualified paeans of praise would be an insult
to the memory of such a man as Gordon Bruce. He had his ups
and downs and he had his critics, but no man worthy of his
salt can escape either. An exacting and efficient surgery was his
aim, and seeing his desired goal so clearly in view he marched
directly towards it when a slight deviation might have avoided
treading upon sensitive toes. The name of Gordon Bruce will
undoubtedly conjure up in future years a concept of surgery
which was honest in its selection, searching in its planning,
meticulous in its execution, and exacting in its postoperative
care. And though least spectacular of all, it may be for the last
that he deserves greatest credit. Upon occasion he would sacri-
fice everything for the welfare and survival of a single patient,
and those of us who were his pupils have reason to be grateful
for the example he set and for his teaching on this subject.
Praise or thanks from him were unknown; efficient and effec-
tive performances were the norm and did not call for comment.
It is said that you cannot be a good performer, in surgery or
anything else in this life, unless it hurts to do badly. This was
always true of Brucie; no man suffered more in maintaining
his surgical ideals and no man was more conscious, to quote
him verbatim, that surgery was no bed of roses. It was perhaps
because of this that unbridled criticism sometimes broke from
him in the operating-theatre, but this criticism was consistent
and always aimed at producing in his theatre staff the maxi-
mum efficiency for his patientâs welfare.
Surgery was not the only garment in the wardrobe of his
life. His expertise as a salmon fly fisherman was widely recog-
nised, as also was his ability on the grouse moor and in low
ground shooting. Here, too, he was prepared to teach the
selected few, though woe betide the ineffective or indolent per-
formance. His philosophy and the hallmarks of his teaching
and performance were that what was in hand had to be done
properly and that whatever was undertaken was carried out to
the utmost capability. He has left his mark, both in his hospi-
tal and medical school, and in the wider environment of his
native north-east of Scotland.
LESLIE H. TRUELOVE
B.M. Oxon., M.R.C.P., D.Phys.Med.
Dr Leslie Truelove, associate director of the depart-
ment of physical medicine at Vancouver General Hospi-
tal, British Columbia, died on May 29 at the age of 53.
He was born in England and educated at King Edward VII
School, Sheffield, and Magdalen College, Oxford, graduating
B.M. in 1946. He held a house-appointment at the Hamersmith
Hospital, London, and was registrar to the United Oxford Hos-
pitals, before taking up a research fellowship in the rheuma-
tism unit at the Northern General Hospital, Edinburgh. He
emigrated to Canada in 1960, to become chief of medical ser-
vices at the Manitoba Rehabilitation Hospital and director of
the School of Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy at the
University of Manitoba. Moving to Vancouver in 1971, he was
apointed a clinical assistant professor in the department of
medicine at the University of British Columbia, and worked as
a member of the active medical staff of the G. F. Strong Re-
habilitation Centre of Vancouver General Hospital.
Dr Truelove served as chairman of the physical and rehabili-
tation section of the British Columbia Medical Association
and as first president of the Interprofessional Association of
Rehabilitation Medicine of British Columbia; since 1968 he
had been associate medical director of the Canadian Arthritis
and Rheumatism Society. He was a keen runner, running
between 5 and 8 miles a day, and taking part in numerous
He is survived by his wife, Rosamund, and their four sons.
Sir GEORGE McRoBERT, consulting physician to the Hospi-
tal for Tropical Diseases, London, has died at the age of 81;
he served for many years in the Indian Medical Service, and
was medical adviser to the Secretary of State for Common-
North West Thames Regional Health Authority:
BARAITSER, MICHAEL, M.B., B.scStellenbosch, M.R.C.P.: consultant clinical
geneticist, Kennedy Galton Centre and Clinical Research Centre.
CRAWFURD, M. dâA., M.B.Lond., M.R.C.PATH., DIP.PATH.: consultant clinical
geneticist, Clinical Research Centre and Kennedy Galton Centre.
GOOLAMALI, S. K., M.D.Lond., M.R.C.P.: consultant dermatologist, Central
Middlesex Hospital, Northwick Park Hospital, and Wembley Hospital.
GORDON, HARRY, M.B.Lond., F.R.C.S.E., F.R.C.O.G.: consultant obstetrician and
gynaecologist, Northwick Park Hospital.
HULANDS, G. H., M.B.Bust., F.F.A. R.C.S.: consultant anxsthetist, Northwick
JEFFERYS, P. M., M.B.Cantab., M.R.C.P., M.R.C.PSYCH.: consultant psychiatrist,
Northwick Park Hospital.
MARJOT, D. H., M.B.Lond., M.R.C.PSYCH., D.P.M.. consultant psychiatrist, Eal-
ing, Hammersmith, and Hounslow A.H.A. (teaching).
MILLINGTON, MALCOLM, M.B.Lond., M.R.C.PSYCH., D.P.M. : consultant child
psychiatrist, child guidance clinics, London Borough of Hlllmgdon,
Middlesex Lodge Observation and Assessment Centre, and Mount Ver-
NELSTROP, G. A., M.B.Manc., M.R.C.P.: consultant general physician, South
West district of Hertfordshire, mainly at Watford General Hospital.
RENTON, PETER, M.B.Lond., F.R.C.R., D.M.R.D.. consultant radiologist, North-
wick Park Hospital.
RIORDAN, J. F., M.B. N.u.l., M.R.C.P.: consultant physician (with special train-
ing and experience in respiratory medicine), Brent health district,
mainly at Central Middlesex Hospital.
SANDERSON, P. J., M.B., B.SC., PH.D.Lond., M.R.C.PATH., DIP.BACT. : consultant
microbiologist, Northwick Park Hospital.
SMITH, G. N., M.B., B.sc., PH.D.Lond., M.R.C.PATH. : consultant haematologist,
Northwich Park Hospital and M.R.C. Clinical Research Centre.
THOMPSON, D. S., M.B., B.sc.Lond., M.R.C.PATH. : consultant hxmatologist,
South Bedfordshire health district, mainly at Luton and Dunstable