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Biographical entry Kinder, Cyril Hugh (1922 - 2002)

MRCS and FRCS 1950; MB BChir Cambridge 1945; MChir 1957.

12 March 1922
Alexandria, Egypt
22 December 2002


Hugh Kinder was a consultant urologist at Guy's. He was born in Alexandria, Egypt, on 12 March 1922. His father, Geoffrey, was a civil engineer in charge of irrigation in the days of the British Mandate, where he was involved in increasing the height of the Aswan Dam. Returning to England, he was involved with the flood protection works in the fens under Sir Murdoch Macdonald. His mother, Winifred, was the granddaughter of a farmer who was the first to gin his own cotton in Beni Souef, Upper Egypt. Hugh was educated at Sherborne, where he was allowed to go bird watching in lieu of cricket. Hugh and a group of boys, including Gordon Jolly (the gynaecologist), Peter Twiss (the test pilot) and Philip Ware (of the Otter Trust) taught themselves falconry, built their own mews, and progressed from kestrels to merlins and goshawks. He also learned to paint in oils and water-colours, as well as the techniques of printing and drypoint. From Sherborne, he went to Trinity Hall, Cambridge, where he met his future wife, Audrey Debenham, the daughter of the first Professor of Geography at the University and the youngest member of Scott's ill-fated Antarctic expedition. Hugh went on to Guy's Hospital for his clinical studies and distinguished himself in boxing and rugby football.

After being house surgeon to Slesinger, Eckhoff and Hedley Atkins at Guy's, he did his National Service in the RAF, serving in Barrackpore and Karachi. He returned as an ex-service house surgeon to Sir Heneage Ogilvie at Guy's, did a spell as a demonstrator of anatomy, and was registrar at Guy's and at Sidcup, before becoming urological registrar under Doherty and Kilpatrick. He did a year as RSO at St Peter's Hospital and the newly founded Institute of Urology.

After three months at Johns Hopkins, he was appointed to the staff of Guy's Hospital in 1958 and soon devoted himself to urology exclusively, at a time when most urology was done by general surgeons. He was an inspirational leader and teacher, as well as a first class technical surgeon, with a particular interest in paediatric urology.

He had many interests outside medicine, which made him an interesting and amusing companion. He was a strong supporter of British Association of Urological Surgeons, its honorary secretary from 1969 to 1972, but declined the presidency. He retired in 1986 and moved to South Walsham, Norfolk, where he continued to work in his garden, paint (he held regular exhibitions of his water-colours) and sail - he was racing only a few weeks before he died. He was active in village life and chairman of the parish council. He married Audrey in 1949. Of their five children, one son, Richard, became a consultant urologist in Cheltenham. He survived two cancers, the first urological and the second gastrointestinal, before developing a third tumour which led to his death, on 22 December 2002.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Information from Professor Tony Mundy and Richard Kinder; BMJ 2003 326 988, with portrait].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England