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Biographical entry Goodall, Peter (1927 - 2006)

MRCS 1951; FRCS 1957; BA Cambridge 1948; MB BChir 1951; MA 1962; MChir 1962; LRCP 1951.

8 February 1927
London, UK
30 October 2006
General surgeon


Peter Goodall was a consultant general surgeon in Derby. He was born on 8 February 1927 in London, the son of the Rev Norman Goodall, a minister of religion, and Doris Stanton, a Birmingham Medical School graduate. Peter was educated at Queen Elizabeth’s Grammar School in Barnet and Highgate School, and then Gonville and Caius College, Cambridge. He then went to Westminster Hospital for his clinical studies, where he won a scholarship in anatomy and physiology and the Chadwick prize in medicine, surgery and pathology.

After house jobs at the Westminster Hospital he did his National Service in the RAF Medical Branch. He returned to the Westminster as a resident medical officer, and then went on to a post as surgical registrar at Oxford under ‘Tim’ Till and Joe Pennybacker. He was subsequently a senior registrar in Cardiff under Sir Patrick Forrest and Hilary Wade. Sir Patrick wrote of him: ‘When I went to Cardiff in 1961 there were no research facilities, there were no research staff, but one senior registrar…Peter Goodall. He wanted equipment to study reflux through the oesophageal sphincter. It cost £100 and the department bought it for him. His clinical work was meticulous. He was a perfectionist and liked things to go where they were meant to go.’

Peter Goodall was appointed as a consultant in Derby, where he built up a reputation as a careful and reliable surgeon, particularly in the surgery of the stomach and the thyroid, and one who took pains to train his junior staff. His operating theatre was a temple of silence, so that he could concentrate on the task in hand: woe betide anyone who disturbed the peace.

He was active in the section of surgery of the Royal Society of Medicine and the Welsh Surgical Travelling Club, and served on the Court of Examiners of our College.

He married Rhonwen (Wendy) Bulkely Williams in 1952, by whom he had a son and three daughters, two of whom went into nursing. He was keen on gardening and was a fine joiner, making many items of furniture out of cedar and green oak. He played the oboe well, and was particularly interested in the music of Finzi. In retirement he continued to enjoy all these hobbies and, together with Wendy, painstakingly restored a house in the Dordogne. Seemingly austere and perhaps a little shy, Peter will be remembered as perhaps one of the last gentleman surgeons, always the champion of his patients. He died on 30 October 2006.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Information from Chris Chilton and Wendy Goodall].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England