I was fortunate enough to represent Guys at three sports, Cricket, Golf and Squash. The cricket tours at Thatchings near Bognor were the highlight of the season and some of you may recall the inscription over the entrance door 'This building was donated to the hospital for the use of tired students and nurses’. Bed and breakfast cost 14 shillings/night for students, 17shillings for Junior Housemen and S.H.O’s and the princely sum of £1 for registrars. As treasurer of the Cricket Club my job was to ensure we had enough money to entertain our guests and ourselves with enough (?too much) liquid refreshment at our matches and this was achieved by selling the 250 permitted tickets at the "hops" in the Students Union twice over, thereby grossly infringing the fire regulations. Our Squash team also went on tour (one member was Sir Cyril Chantler) to Oxford and Cambridge where we played creditably against the Squirrels and the Ganders , the University 2nd teams.
I did three house jobs at Lewisham in Orthopaedics and trauma and medicine, which included some Paediatrics which in turn stimulated a career long interest and Obstetrics. How little we knew as we started our careers as H.S’s and H.P’s and how much we relied on the wise Ward Sister for advice and guidance. Because of the timing of my birthday I qualified too young at 22 and felt I needed more experience of life before entering General Practice which had from an early age always been my objective. 18 months as a ships surgeon with the P.and O lines after house jobs helped me through that problem, in the days when air travel was less popular and the largest liners were doing deep-sea voyages sometimes with no port for 5or 6 days. Surgical emergencies were managed with the assistance of Hamilton Bailey’s Emergency Surgery and the Ship’s Captain's Medical guide ostensibly for the use of the 2nd mate, when no doctor was on board used ‘No tarnishing of the mirror’ as the definitive sign of death. The catalogue of medical adventures which occurred is far too long for this blog.
One of the special times in practise was spent on a 6 week sabbatical as Medical Officer on an expedition/ trek climbing in the Himalayas in uncharted territory circuiting Dhaulagiri the world’s seventh highest mountain and the most westerly of the great Nepalese 8000 metre peaks. We were on the go for 27 days reaching 5375 metres and I developed a waist for the first time in my adult life losing over 8 kgs in weight, but had never felt so fit since student days. Altitude sickness is still not fully understood and remains a fascinating condition both physiologically and symptomatically. Current interests are gardening, golf, and photography (some professional) and of course the growing family. Paul Sievers