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Biographical entry Pinker, Sir George Douglas (1924 - 2007)

KCVO 1990; CVO 1983; MRCS and FRCS 1989; MB BS London 1947; DObst 1949; MRCOG 1954; FRCS Edin 1957; FRCOG 1964; Hon FRCSI 1987; Hon FRACOG 1989; LRCP 1989; Hon FACOG 1990; Hon FCMSA 1991.

6 December 1924
Calcutta, India
29 April 2007
Obstetrician and gynaecologist


George Pinker, Surgeon-Gynaecologist to the Queen from 1973 to 1990, was born in Calcutta on 6 December 1924, the son of Ronald Douglas Pinker and Queenie Elizabeth née Dix. Like so many English children in those days, he went to England at the age of four, and was educated at Reading School. He went on to St Mary’s Hospital in 1942 to study medicine. He had a fine baritone voice and, having played Pish-Tush in a school production of The Mikado, he was offered a contract with the D’Oyly Carte Company, but decided to continue in medicine.

After junior posts he did National Service in the RAMC, serving in Singapore, and returned to specialise in obstetrics and gynaecology at St Mary’s and the Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford. He was appointed consultant gynaecologist and obstetrician at St Mary’s in 1958, and this was followed by appointments at King Edward VII Hospital for Officers, the Middlesex Hospital, and Queen Charlotte’s and Bolingbroke hospitals.

He succeeded Sir John Peel as Surgeon-Gynaecologist to the Queen and attended nine royal births, insisting on each occasion that the deliveries would take place in St Mary’s Hospital rather than at home, on grounds of safety. He received many honours, was president of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists from 1987 to 1990, and president of the Royal Society of Medicine from 1992 to 1995.

His many publications included contributions to Gynaecology by ten teachers, Obstetrics by ten teachers (both London, Edward Arnold, 1980 and 1985) and A short textbook of gynaecology and obstetrics (London, English Universities Press, 1967).

George Pinker was a man of unusual charm. He had many interests, most notably music (he was vice-president of the London Choral Society in 1988), skiing, gardening and sailing. He married Dorothy Emma Russell, who predeceased him after a long illness, when he cared for her. They had three sons and one daughter. His last days were marred by the development of Parkinsonism, which he suffered with great stoicism. He died on 29 April 2007.

Sources used to compile this entry: [The Times 7 May 2007; The Independent 29 August 2007; BMJ 2007 334 1378].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England