nine grandchildren. Some of his patients lived in appalling conditions in Bermondsey homes, but he was always courteous, kind and welcomed by his patients; his dedication shown by regular nights on call, when he slept on a camp bed in the surgery. He leaves Paddy, his wife of fifty-two years; four daughters: Cathy, Becky, Jodi and Sophie; and nine grandchildren, one of whom is studying medicine, much to his delight. An obituary was published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), on which this obituary is based.
The Strand. He became FRCS in 1955 and his early surgical career began. After more training and a couple of spells of National Service as a Captain in the Royal Army Medical Corps in Malaya and Cyprus, he was then appointed Consultant Colorectal Surgeon and spent most of his career at the old and new Charing Cross Hospital sites for thirty-four years, and at the Mayday hospital in Croydon for twenty-five years as a General Surgeon. One of his few breaks from working in London was when he went to Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, in 1959/60 to undertake the Harvey Cushing Fellowship. John always felt that law was the other profession he could have followed, so at the height of his medical career he studied to qualify as a barrister and was called to the Bar (Inner Temple) in 1972. Subsequently he always enjoyed involvement with law when it crossed over with medicine and he was a long-term member of the Croydon Medico-Legal Society. Between 1989 and 1993, John was happy for his career to culminate in his appointment as Dean of the Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School. At this pinnacle of his career, he led the medical school, taught students and continued his duties as a surgeon. He had a great sense of humour and was always willing to share his wit and wisdom. When the name of the new combined medical school was being debated, he vetoed “Westminster and Charing Cross” on the basis that no medical school of his would have the initials “WC”; it duly became Charing Cross and Westminster Medical School (CXWMS). Perhaps John was
disarmingly correct when he claimed to lack any aesthetic imagination, always wearing his immaculate trademark suits for work; black jacket, grey pinstripe trousers and stiff collared white shirts; a “uniform” he had worn at school and never changed. He retired from all of his medical duties as consultant surgeon, teacher, and as Dean of the combined medical school in 1993, his portrait was painted and now hangs as an inspiration to those who follow him. John had become engaged to a nurse, Kate Tuohy, in 1959 just before he went to Harvard for a year. He could not bear to be parted from his fiancée and called for her to join him in Boston where they married on 9th Jan 1960. Kate and John spent a happy academic year in the USA, until they returned to the UK and the first of their three children arrived in July 1961. Thereafter Kate “retired” from nursing to look after the family and run John’s private practice to enable him to devote his working life to medicine. For prospective patients, a reassuring conversation with Kate was almost as good as having spoken to the great man himself. When Kate tragically died in 1987, at the age of only fifty-one, John described her loss as “a pickaxe through the heart”. In retirement, apart from working as Chairman of the CLIC Sargent Cancer Charity for Children, he really did give up all medical roles, and made up for time lost during his busy professional life, by remarrying, and travelling, spending long holidays in Spain, and watched the progress of his grandchildren, forging individual relationships with each of them. He spent the last decade living next door to family on Box Hill in Surrey and thought it was wonderful that he could wake up in the morning and see thirty-five miles out of the bedroom
John Edward Hicks Pendower [1941-44] 06.08.1927 – 08.02.2016
John Pendower was the son of a civil servant, Thomas Pendower, who had been a
teenage infantryman at the Battle of the Somme less than ten years earlier, and now lived in Bexleyheath. When the Second World War started, John was soon evacuated to Devon, so he came to Dulwich with a scholarship from Barnstaple Grammar School, in September 1941, after the London Blitz had largely ended in May of that year. For three long months during the second bombing blitz in 1944, the family spent every night sleeping in the air-raid shelter at the bottom of their garden in Bexleyheath, listening to anti-aircraft guns firing all night. In the summer of 1944, a flying bomb destroyed the Dulwich College Science block, and John persuaded his father to let him go to university to study Medicine aged only seventeen. In 1950 John qualified as MB BS from the University of London taking honours in both Medicine and Surgery, having trained first at King’s College and then at Charing Cross Hospital, which were then both in
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