Cyril Hugh Kinder MS, FRCS
Hugh Kinder lived at Hoblands for 21 years between 1966 and 1987 with his wife Audrey and their five children. He was born in 1922, the son of a civil engineer in Egypt and his early days were spent in Alexandria. As a boy, he returned with his family to England and the rest of his childhood was spent in Kent. After preparatory school in Seaford, he went to Sherborne, where he developed three of his many interests in life outside medicine. He became a sportsman, he learned about falconry, and he learnt to paint. From Sherborne he went to Trinity Hall at Cambridge shortly after the outbreak of the Second World War. Like so many people at the time, he felt guilty that he wasn’t in the armed forces, and indeed the natural history Tripos had been condensed from three to two years as a consequence of the war. None the less, he enjoyed himself enormously as he always did, not least because that is where he met Audrey, his wife to be. She too was an extraordinary person from an extraordinary family, her father being the first professor of geography at Cambridge, who had also been the youngest scientific member of Scott’s fated polar expedition.
In 1942 he went from Cambridge to Guy’s for his clinical training and also to further his career in rugby football. There were very few patients at Guy’s then because of the bombing and so students were largely taught out of town at Farnborough, Orpington, and Pembury. Much as he enjoyed playing rugby and boxing for the hospital, which seems to have taken up much of his time, he developed an interest in surgery then and this interest was reflected in his house officer appointments, which were all surgical. He then spent two years in the Royal Air Force before returning to Guy’s with his mind set on a surgical career.
He passed his final FRCS in May 1950, having become interested in urology as a result of working with Kilp (Mr. F R Kilpatrick), who was urologist at Guy’s and at St Peter’s Hospital (as it was then). In 1958 he became consultant urologist at Guy’s and two years later he took sessions in Beckenham Hospital as well. He and Kilp turned Guy’s into one of the best departments of urology in London when there were so few of them and sustained it as competition from new departments up and down the country developed.
During his career he did so much. He was president of the urological section of the Royal Society of Medicine; he was a member of council and secretary of the British Association of Urological Surgeons; treasurer of the British Journal of Urology; a member of the committee of management of the Institute of Urology; member of the advisory committee for the development of urology; member of the SAC in urology; chairman of the urological specialist subcommittee; and a member of the regional medical committee in the former South East Thames Regional Health Authority. At Guy’s he was involved in almost every activity he could have been involved in and chairman of almost every committee at one stage or another.
The central focus for Hugh was always his family and his home at Hoblands in Chislehurst. Hugh and Audrey had a happy and enduring marriage, celebrating their golden wedding in 1999. They had five children all of whom have been prolific in providing grandchildren and one of whom, Richard, also became an urologist.
On retirement in 1986 he and Audrey moved to South Walsham in Norfolk to pursue his interests: his family, sailing, gardening, painting, and village life around him. He had a large family and they came to him and he went to them. Norfolk had become the major family focus for the Kinder family many years ago because of his love of sailing and it was the obvious place to retire to. He raced sailing dinghies for 64 years and was still racing a few months before he died. His small fleet of aged sailing dinghies and a bungalow on the Norfolk Broads have been an asset to the Kinder family for more than 70 years. A man of enormous physical energy, much of his time was spent in gardening. Audrey provided the direction and Hugh the motive force.
Outside the garden, watercolour painting was his main interest and he had regular one man exhibitions. When he no longer had the department of urology to direct, he had South Walsham to direct instead. He and Audrey became very active in local village life and as in every other thing he had ever done, he became chairman of that too, specifically chairman of the parish council. Hugh died in October 2002.
Extracts from an obituary in the British Medical Journal by A R Mundy