Designatory Letters: 
MB Manc 1949, MRCP Edin 1961 Geriatrics

(Contributed by Thomas S Callaghan)

Cyril grew up in Manchester where he also read Medicine. He was one of the very first physicians specialising in the care of the elderly; now perhaps the most wide-ranging specialty in general medicine, then he was very much a pioneer in a ‘Cinderella’ specialty. His first job, after serving in the Army Medical Corps, was at Stracathro Hospital, Angus, where he discovered his natural aptitude and developed a superb service across Angus, mentored by Dr Oswald Taylor Brown, Scotland’s first consultant in geriatric medicine. Cyril worked with colleagues from all disciplines when caring holistically for patients brought low by age and infirmity and taught a new generation of like-minded physicians by example, lecturing and papers.

A roll call of his contributions includes: Past President of the Forfarshire Medical Association; former chairman of the Health Education Board for Scotland’s Advisory Group on Health Education for elderly people; Angus District and Tayside Area Medical Committees; the Scottish branch of the British Geriatric Society; Angus Access Panel and Angus Care of the Elderly Group; Honorary Vice-President of the Dundee and District branch of the British Diabetic Association; life member of the Manchester Medical Society. He also sat on the Chief Scientist’s Committee for Research on Equipment for the Disabled and the Health Services Research Committee.

Cyril was appointed OBE in 1986 and was a Director of the Angus Community Care Charitable Trust, Brechin Day Care and Angus Care and Repair as well as former Vice-Chair of the Angus Association of Voluntary Organisations, a member of Age Concern Angus’ executive, a JP and Honorary President of the hospital radio station, Radio North Angus, with which he had been involved since its inception.

He really was a ‘one-off’ with his trademark grin, sports jacket, pipe and a well-known penchant for amusing, if corny, jokes. He was utterly fearless in advancing the causes he supported. He simply got involved, striving always to improve the well-being of his patients and the community which he served. During his retirement, he was as busy as ever but was truly appalled by serial healthcare scandals, increasing NHS micro-management and he was deeply distressed by the deterioration in the ethos of care implicit in the profession of medicine. Using his vast clinical experience and wisdom, he wrote fearlessly to those politicians whose actions, in his experience, could be injurious to patient care.

Cyril died at home in Aberlemno, survived by his wife, Betty, and son, David (his other son, Michael, predeceased him). At his funeral no-one was allowed to wear mourning clothes and black ties were banned as his final request.

A truly remarkable man, he is missed especially by his wife and son and by all who knew him as a colleague and friend.