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Biographical entry Payne, Ian William (1923 - 2013)

MB ChB Manchester 1946; DOMS 1949; FRCS 1953.

15 June 1923
6 December 2013


Ian William Payne was a consultant ophthalmologist at the Royal Eye Infirmary in Plymouth. He was born in Bedford on 15 June 1923, the only child of Benjamin William Payne, an engineer who had served with the Royal Engineers during the First World War, and Ann Payne née Simpson. During his early childhood the family lived in Buxton, but later moved to Hazel Grove near Manchester. He was educated at Buxton College and Manchester Grammar School. He then studied medicine at Victoria University in Manchester, qualifying MB ChB in 1946.

He was a house surgeon at the Royal Eye Hospital in Manchester, before serving as a captain in the RAMC for two years, as a graded ophthalmologist. In 1949 he became a demonstrator in anatomy in Manchester and in the same year gained his diploma in ophthalmic medicine and surgery.

In 1950 he went to London, where he was a house surgeon, registrar and then senior registrar at the Royal Eye Hospital. In 1955 he became a consultant ophthalmologist at the Royal Eye Infirmary in Plymouth, where he remained until he retired in 1987. He was also president of the Plymouth Medical Society and a civilian consultant to the Navy.

During his early years in Plymouth he had no junior staff and he was on-call one week in three. Eventually a fourth consultant was appointed, as well as some house surgeons. He became interested in the education of his junior medical staff, gave regular classes, particularly on optics, and wrote a small handbook for them on the efficient manipulation of surgical instruments.

Payne was a keen musician. He played in the school orchestra at Manchester Grammar School and was in the university orchestra while he was at medical school. While in London he played the clavichord. Once based in the West Country, he joined the Plymouth Symphony Orchestra. Initially a flautist, he took up the oboe family in the 1950s and in the 1960s taught himself the horn. He later learnt the viola and the bassoon. For many years he attended the Dartington International Summer School.

As well as music, he was fascinated by making things and interested in carpentry, cabinet making, metal working and repairing clocks. He was also enjoyed ancient history and archaeology, and reading detective fiction. In his younger days he was a keen sportsman and particularly enjoyed fencing. He captained the university team at Manchester and was later a member of the Devon county foils team. He also played tennis, table tennis, croquet and billiards, and followed snooker on television. He also had a deep faith and regularly attended church.

Ian William Payne died on 6 December 2013. He was 90. He was survived by his widow, whose maiden name was Woodward, whom he married in 1949, their two daughters and a granddaughter.

Sarah Gillam

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 2014 348 3475 - accessed 14 January 2016].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England