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Biographical entry Keast-Butler, John (1937 - 2005)

FRCS 1973; BChir Cambridge 1964; MB 1965; MA 1965; DO 1971; FRCOphth 1989.

26 September 1937
London, UK
19 March 2005
Goa, India


John Keast-Butler was a consultant ophthalmologist at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge. He was born in London on 26 September 1937. His father, Joseph Alfred Keast-Butler, was a salesman and his mother, Mary Loise Brierley, was a secretary. He was educated at University College School and went up to Trinity College, Cambridge, to read medicine, going on to University College Hospital for his clinical studies.

After National Service in the RAMC he specialised in ophthalmology, at first as a registrar at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, then as a senior resident officer at Moorfields Eye Hospital, City Road, and finally as a senior registrar at St Thomas’s Hospital and the National Hospital for Nervous Diseases. In 1977 he was appointed as a consultant ophthalmic surgeon to Addenbrooke’s NHS Trust, Cambridge University Teaching Hospitals Trust and Saffron Walden Community Hospital. In addition he was associate lecturer (medicine) at the University of Cambridge, director of studies (clinical medicine) at Trinity College, Cambridge, and attachment director in ophthalmology, University of Cambridge School of Medicine.

He was a fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, chairman of the BMA ophthalmic group committee for some years and honorary secretary of the Cambridge Medical Graduates’ Club. His colleagues rightly described him as a big man in stature and in personality. He was a skilled craftsman and enjoyed carpentry, photography and gardening.

He married Brigid Hardy, a nurse, in 1967 and they had three children – one daughter (a civil servant) and two sons (a trainee ophthalmic surgeon and a business analyst). He died on 19 March 2005 while travelling with his wife in Goa. He had a major fall that proceeded a fatal pulmonary embolism.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 2005 331 1274].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England