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Biographical entry Cleave, Hugh Latimer (1910 - 2010)

CBE 1968; MRCS LRCP 1931; FRCS 1935.

11 February 1910
18 November 2010
Naval surgeon


Hugh Latimer Cleave was a surgeon captain in the Royal Navy. He was born on 11 February 1910 in Exeter, the younger of two sons of Richard Charles Cleave, an engineer captain in the Royal Navy, and Ethel Elizabeth Cleave née Latimer. His older brother, Thomas (Peter), also served in the Royal Navy Medical Service, as a surgeon captain.

From 1920 to 1926, Hugh was educated at Clifton College. He qualified in medicine at Bristol University and subsequently trained for the FRCS at Middlesex, Guy's and London hospitals. The teacher who most impressed him was Wilfred Adams, to whom he was a house surgeon at the Bristol Royal Infirmary. A memorable appointment was at Putney Hospital in 1933, when he was the sole resident medical officer.

It is believed that he joined the Royal Navy early in his career. Certainly, he served throughout the Second World War. In 1939 he was mentioned in despatches, continuing in the Navy until his retirement in 1967, with the final rank of captain.

He was awarded the CBE for his services.

Hugh married a Miss P E W Hill in 1933. They had a son and daughter. His later life was spent in Buckland Monachorum, Devon, and he enjoyed most sports, in particular fishing and shooting. He died on 18 November 2010, aged 100.

RM Kirk

The Royal College of Surgeons of England