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Biographical entry Cashman, Bernard (1920 - 1996)

MRCS and FRCS 1955; MB BS London 1944.

10 June 1920
17 October 1996
Accident and emergency surgeon and Orthopaedic surgeon


Bernard Cashman was born on 10 June 1920 in Hammersmith, London. He was the son of Joseph, a master tailor, and his wife, Lena, née Whipp, a tailor and dressmaker. He entered the medical school at University College Hospital, London. He was sufficiently advanced in his medical studies to be exempted from military service at the outbreak of the second world war. After qualification in 1944 he was commissioned in the RAMC, serving throughout in India Command. The years he spent there were colourful and interesting, covering the end of the British Raj with the advent of Independence. From the professional point of view, senior specialists were being demobilised and returned to the United Kingdom and there was much work for the younger men who were replacing them. It was a time when much experience could be gained in a short time. Outside professional duties the pattern of Indian life and society and its social conditions were there to be seen. There was much to be learnt of the needs and indeed hardships of fellow man. Bernard was by nature sensitive and observant and these things did not escape his attention.

Returning to England he completed his surgical training at the Middlesex and Central Middlesex Hospitals, London, passing his FRCS in 1955. His consultant appointment was that of orthopaedic surgeon in Bedford. He was an able surgeon but also a most capable administrator and he set up there an orthopaedic and accident department of the highest quality. His concern for getting things right led him to take an interest in the administrative affairs of the district, and he gave much time to this, finally as Chairman of the Medical Executive Committee.

Apart from his busy professional life he had many interests in art, music and literature but his social conscience was especially shown in his support for Riding for the Disabled. He devoted much of his retirement to research on the history of the medical establishments in and around Bedford, resulting in two publications, including a history of Bedford General Hospital, but sadly dying before he completed his memoirs.

He married Captain Aileen Joyce Carlson RAMC on 20 September 1947 and they had a son, Dr Peter Martin Cashman, PhD, BSc (Hon), who became a biomedical engineer at Imperial College, London, and a daughter Celia Isobel, BSc (Hon) MCIH, who was a social housing assistant. When he died of myelomatosis on 17 October 1996 he was survived by his wife Joyce, children, and three grandchildren.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 1997 314 379, with portrait; Publications: Private charity and the public purse; A history of Bedford General Hospital 1794-1988; A history of mental health policies in the country 1812-1866].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England