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Biographical entry Glover, Frederick Noel (1917 - 1991)

MRCS 1939; FRCS 1943; MB BS London 1939; MS 1943; LRCP 1939.

21 December 1917
4 January 1991
General surgeon


Noel, as he was known, was born on 21 December 1917 in London, son of F S Glover, a Guy's dental graduate who had come from New Zealand and who was on the staff of the London Hospital. He went to school at Dulwich and entered Guy's Hospital in 1934. He was to serve the hospital 'man and boy' until retirement in 1983. Graduation was swiftly overtaken by the second world war and his surgical baptism was helping the people of Southwark and the London docks survive the Blitz, successively as house physician, house surgeon and registrar. Sir Heneage Ogilvie, Sir Hedley Atkins and Nils Eckhoff guided his training, the latter being responsible for Glover's lifelong precise surgical technique . Despite the grim times he had little difficulty with higher degrees. With Sam Wass and F R Kilpatrick he helped Guy's through the worst of the bombing and in 1943, having passed the Fellowship, he was called up and joined the RAMC, serving in Europe and the Far East and becoming commanding officer of a surgical division with the rank of lieutenant colonel.

On demobilisation in 1948 he returned to Guy's and was elected assistant surgeon, one month before the 'appointed day' of the nationalised health service. He enjoyed his period as clinical assistant at St Mark's Hospital and later he also became consultant surgeon at Sevenoaks Hospital, near to his home at Woldingham. He carried out his dual work of surgeon and teacher with ability and friendliness to all. He remained a general surgeon and he recognised the tremendous handicap varicose veins can be and the misery they can cause. He became a leading authority on this disability and also on surgery of the endocrine system, particularly with reference to the treatment of hyperthyroidism. He was also the first surgeon at Guy's to fashion a portacaval anastomosis. He was an examiner serving the University of London and also a member of the Court of Examiners from 1972 to 1978. Committee work did not appeal to him yet he served as chairman of the school council and hospital medical committee, where his commonsense approach was invaluable.

In 1952 he married Jean, having a family of two boys and three girls. His sporting interests were mainly centred on cricket, and he became chairman both of Guy's and Woldingham cricket clubs. He acquired a knowledge of antiques, in particular Persian carpets and paintings. Two of the family qualified at Guy's, Joanna, the eldest, becoming an anaesthetist, and Michael, who later entered general practice in Somerset. Jean sadly developed breast cancer and died in 1981 and Joanna died tragically soon after, causing Noel great sadness which he endured with characteristic stoicism. He retired in 1983 with the honour of surgeon emeritus to the hospital he served and loved so well. Retirement was marred by development of Alzheimer's disease and he died on 4 January 1991, aged 73.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 1991 302 526; Guy's Hospital Gazette 1991 April 122-3, with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England