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Biographical entry Shawe, Gerard David Horace (1921 - 2002)

MRCS and FRCS 1955; MB BS London 1947.

6 February 1921
23 November 2002
General surgeon


Gerard Shawe, always known as 'David', was a consultant surgeon in Redhill. He was born in London on 6 February 1921, the son of Gertrude (née Morgan) and Reginald Shawe. He was educated at the local school in Mill Hill, North London, leaving at 14. Determined to study medicine, he worked for matriculation at night school whilst being employed as a bank courier. After training at Charing Cross, where he was known as 'Red' Shawe (reflecting his hair colour, not his political leanings), he became an anatomy lecturer at University College Hospital, where he did research on nerve injuries. He then completed junior surgical posts at St Bartholomew's and the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital.

In 1961, he spent six months operating in the bush of Western Australia and then returned to London to be resident surgical officer at St Paul's Hospital under Howard Hanley and J D Fergusson. He then held a similar post at St Mark's. Whilst carrying out research at the Royal Marsden, he developed a thermographic screening programme for breast cancer.

In 1967, he was appointed consultant surgeon to the Redhill group of hospitals, where he worked until taking early retirement from the NHS in 1976. He then converted a convalescent home into a private surgical clinic, which he ran successfully for 11 years.

He married Jill Hodgson in 1952, and they had four children and 10 grandchildren. A man of individual vision and courage, he was a keen fisherman and beekeeper, and taught himself Classical Greek. In 1983 he retired from medical practice and bought a farm in North Devon, which he ran until his death on 23 November 2002.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 2003 326 935, with portrait; information from Deidre Shawe].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England