Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Mr Broomhead's obituary

I came across this obituary at the Wellcome Trust Library some time ago. Fred and I thought it would make an interesting companion to the photo he posted a few days ago. It's from the British Medical Journal (Vol 288, 14 April 1984, p. 1170). The fact that his specialism was arthritis of the hip is relevant to Florence's experience.

"Mr R. Broomhead, formerly a consultant orthopaedic surgeon in Leeds, died on 3 February aged 81.

Reginald Broomhead was born in Beeston, Nottinghamshire, and was educated at Ackworth School before studying medicine in Leeds, graduating in 1925. He obtained the MRCS, LRCP in 1926 and the FRCS in 1927. At the Leeds General Infirmary he was house surgeon to Lord Moynihan. Attracted to orthopaedic surgery, he visited the clinics of Sir Robert Jones in Liverpool and Smith-Petersen in America to gain experience before becoming consultant orthopaedic surgeon to the Leeds General Infirmary at the age of 29. There followed appointments as visiting consultant to many hospitals over a wide area of the West Riding of Yorkshire. From 1946 he helped to develop the orthopaedic services at the Royal Bath Hospital in Harrogate. Always fond of children, he greatly enjoyed working at the Marguerite Hepton long stay hospital at Thorp Arch. In 1955 he left the Infirmary to go to St James’s Hospital, Leeds, where he worked until his retirement in 1967. In addition to his many hospital commitments he found time for a busy private consulting practice.

Mr Broomhead was largely instrumental in forming the Yorkshire Association for the Disabled, which, with minimal resources, opened St George’s House in 1952 for the young with chronic disabilities. For many years he was chairman and guiding spirit in this venture. Arthritis of the hip was his main surgical interest. After the war he travelled widely to study developing techniques and was one of the first to use the Smith-Petersen cup in Britain. Helped by engineering friends, he developed many new instruments, some of which are still listed in today’s catalogues.

Of his many other interests, the main one was cricket. It gave him great pleasure to be made a life member of the Yorkshire county cricket club, to which he gave his professional services for many years. He loved golf and was a regular player with a low handicap until recent years. He had a lifelong interest in music, playing several instruments; up to 1970 he regularly attended musical soirées in Leeds. He was a freemason and master at two lodges and achieved high mark in the order.

Doctors who were resident with Mr Broomhead still remember his kindness and consideration; to his postgraduate assistants his help was unstinted. His understanding and compassion for patients was a model for medical students. After retirement, he lived at Kipperford, where he developed a fine garden. He is survived by his wife Phyllis, a son, and two daughters. - JMF"

I wonder if the celebration in Fred and Andrea's photo was for his retirement??? If this jogs anyone's memory, do get into touch please.

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