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Biographical entry Howe, Colin Thomson (1929 - 1988)

MRCS and FRCS 1960; BA Oxford 1950; BM BCh 1953.

14 April 1929
Port Talbot, Glamorgan
10 February 1988
General surgeon


Colin Howe was born in Port Talbot, Glamorgan on 14 April 1929, the son of Benjamin Edward, solicitor and coroner, and Elizah (née Thompson), a grocer's daughter. Colin's youngest brother, Sir Geoffrey, was a prominent member of the Conservative Party and held office in the Government of Margaret Thatcher between 1979 and 1990, serving latterly as Chancellor of the Exchequer. Colin was educated at Winchester College, Magdalen College, Oxford, and the Middlesex Hospital, qualifying in 1953.

After National Service in the RAMC his surgical training included that at the Middlesex Hospital under D H Patey, a year's research with Dr Robert Zollinger, Columbus, Ohio, and in Birmingham with Professor A L d'Abreu. In 1964 he was appointed senior lecturer, then reader and honorary consultant King's College Hospital with Guy's Hospital, London, until his early retirement through ill health in 1983.

Colin was very active in undergraduate and postgraduate education. He was sensitive to student matters and was an effective vice-dean of his medical school from 1970 to 1975. He was also prominent as an examiner, one time chairman of the Board of Examiners in Surgery, University of London, and primary FRCS, from 1977. He contributed to surgical texts and had a special interest in parotid and gastro-intestinal surgery. He enjoyed opera and classical music. In 1954 he married Angela (the eldest daughter of Lord Brock, PPRCS) and they had three sons, Martin, David and Robert (one son entering medicine) and one daughter, Lucy. Sadly and tragically, Angela died early from a brain tumour and, not long after this event, Colin developed diabetes. Colin died suddenly on 10 February 1988, aged 58.

The Royal College of Surgeons of England