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Biographical entry Philip, Peter Forbes (1922 - 2009)

FRCS 1948; MB BS London 1945; MS 1953.

6 January 1922
8 September 2009


Peter Forbes Philip was a consultant urologist at Charing Cross Hospital and a prime mover in organising the hospital’s rebuilding. Philip was born on 6 January 1922 in Walthamstow, where his father, George Stuart Bain Philip, was a general practitioner who had qualified at Charing Cross. His mother, Janet Mallinson, had been a nurse. He went to St Aubyn’s Preparatory School and then to Bancroft’s School in Woodford. He did his preclinical training at King’s College, London (then at Leeds), and Birmingham University, before winning the David Livingstone scholarship to Charing Cross Hospital. There he was influenced by Stibbe and McDowall, Norman Lake, Jennings Marshall, David Trevor and Gordon Holmes.

He qualified in 1945 and was house surgeon at Ashridge Base Hospital (part of Charing Cross) and then in the Strand to Norman Lake and Jennings Marshall. He was then a resident surgical officer at Lincoln County Hospital, where G A B Walters inspired his interest in urology.

He then joined the RAF as a graded specialist in surgery at Ely Hospital and Nocton Hall with the rank of squadron leader.

On demobilisation, he was senior surgical registrar at Harold Wood Hospital in Essex for two years during which time he was seconded to Tilbury, Orsett and Billericay. He was then resident surgical officer at St Peter’s Hospital for the Stone.

He was appointed as a consultant urologist at Charing Cross Hospital in 1951 and was assistant director to the professorial surgical unit. Later he was also a consultant urologist at the Bolingbroke Hospital and the Royal Masonic Hospital.

He published on urethral strictures and urinary diversion and edited the section on urology in Bailey and Love’s Short textbook of surgery from 1967 to 1983. He played a major part in organising the rebuilding of Charing Cross Hospital and described this colossal undertaking in the Annals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England 1973:53;335.

In 1947 he married Joyce Audrey Grant, a nursing sister at Charing Cross. They had three children: Susan Jane, John Stuart Forbes and Jane Elizabeth. He was a skilled cabinet maker and enjoyed rebuilding old Alfa Romeo cars. He was a quiet caring man who was liked by all and respected for his optimistic, pragmatic, good nature and honesty. An anaesthetist colleague summed him up: “No histrionics, no prima donna acting to the gallery to impress the students, no temper tantrums, just elegant surgery performed in an atmosphere of friendly co-operation for the benefit it the patient.”

R M Kirk

The Royal College of Surgeons of England