Professor George Jenkins : An Appreciation
Professor George Charles Jenkins 1927-2023
Barts1956; PhD, FRCPath, FRCPE, FRSA
George was a most faithful friend of the Royal London Hospital. He was a distinguished Professor of Haematology and Honorary Consultant who died from pancreatic cancer aged 96 on 23 July 2023. He was not a member of the Friends but like so many others he devoted his professional life to the Royal London Hospital
He was well known throughout the hospital for his reassuring and supportive advice and for the excellence of his opinions on which I, and many others relied. He was a brilliant colleague who with his clinical team mate Prof. Adam Turnbull headed a renowned department that produced many distinguished Haematologists. They included Prof. Adrian Newland CBE, former President of the Royal College of Pathologists who wrote his obituary for the BMJ (BMJ 2023; 382 p1969 25 August 2023) and Professor Brian Colvin, former Dean of QMSM&D. George had a personal interest in both forensic serology and tropical medicine and he collaborated with Katharine Dormandy at the Royal Free Hospital in organising haemophilia services. This was the basis of developing present day large scale home treatment programmes.
George was educated at Wyggeston Grammar School, Queen’s College Cambridge and St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical School. At that time National service was compulsory and from 1952 to1954 his medical training was interrupted by time at RAF Weeton, east of Blackpool. There he met Elizabeth, a Nightingale nurse, while she was working in the Queen Alexandra’s Royal Army Nursing Corps. They married in 1956, the year he qualified. He held many distinguished appointments including Vice president of the Royal College of Pathologists, president of the British Society for Haematology and president of the British Academy of Forensic Science. He was civilian consultant haematologist to the Royal Navy, a member of the Committee on the Safety of Medicines, a Freeman of the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries and a Freeman of the City of London. Judith Walker, the Friends Co-chair reports that he was a wonderful Vice-President of the Students’ Hostel. He and Elizabeth used to attend student dinners regularly and always made a great effort to socialise with as many students as they could. In addition he was a patron of the Home Farm Trust, a cause very dear to him and Elizabeth. Sadly, Elizabeth who was a lovely woman died in 2014. He leaves three children and three grandchildren.
This account is based on my own memories of George and Elizabeth and on the more detailed obituary provided for the BMJ by Prof Newland & Jennie Treleaven.
Prof Trevor Beedham.