Henry James Drew-Smythe was born at Northampton in 1891, the son of a Baptist Minister (Smythe) who had married a daughter of the Drew family of Middlesex (North London) - originally from Cefnllys, Radnorshire in Wales. He was the eldest of three children and the only son. He was educated at Taunton School and trained in Medicine in Bristol at the Bristol Medical School and in London at the London Hospital. He qualified in 1913. He first became a House Surgeon and House Physician at Bristol Children's Hospital (1913-1914) and in 1914 was House Surgeon at Bristol General Hospital.
In 1914 he married Enid Audrey Cloutman but they did not live together until after the First World War. During this time, he was an officer in the Territorial Army and served in the Royal Army Medical Corps seeing action in both France and Italy, winning a Military Cross for gallantry at Asiago. In January 1919 he was a member of the British delegation sent into Bavaria and Austria to oversee the repatriation of British prisoners of war.
After the war he became House Surgeon at Bristol Royal Infirmary (1919), Demonstrator of Anatomy (1921) at the Royal Free Hospital for Women and then (1921-1922) undertook a post-graduate course at the London Hospital. In 1923 he became Surgical Registrar at Bristol General Hospital and Assistant Gynaecologist in 1925.
He went on to become a Professor and a celebrated medical educator in Bristol, training two generations of British and overseas doctors prior to his retirement in the 1960s.
For most of his professional career, he was Professor of Obstetrics at the University of Bristol (1934 - 1951) and afterwards, went into private practice specialising in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. He had consulting rooms in Pembroke Road, Clifton in Bristol.
He was a Liveryman of the Society of Apothecaries and Freeman of the City of London. He was later Hon. Consulting Gynaecologist, United Bristol Hospitals and Southmead General Hospital - and Gynaecologist for Weston-super-Mare and Burnham-on-Sea Hospitals. He also undertook locum work in Somerset and Cornwall before moving to Cheltenham in the late 1960s.
During the Second World War, he served with the RAMC in India where he commanded a number of Base Hospitals. He retired from the Territorial Army as a Colonel. In civilian life he and his wife lived at Tockington, just outside Bristol. They were both passionate gardeners and spent their days in the vegetable garden or the orchard. When the work became too strenuous they retired to Charlton Kings in Cheltenham where he persued his other hobby, philately, and built up an enviable collection. His wife died in 1971. He survived her by some twelve years during which time he continued to potter in the garden, follow county and international rugby and cricket and to catalogue his stamp collection. An avid reader (of westerns inter alia) his mind remained always active. He died peacefully in a nursing home at the age of 92. ------------- more about ...