Obituary: Brigadier Allen Crockford

Allen Lepard Crockford, physician and administrator, born 11 September 1897, MC 1916, TD 1942, DSO 1943, OBE 1945, Medical Secretary St Thomas's Hospital Medical School 1946-64, CBE 1955, married 1924 Doris Brookes-Smith (one son deceased; two daughters), died 27 September 1992.

ALLEN CROCKFORD, Medical Secretary at St Thomas's Hospital Medical School from 1946 to 1964, was a man whose enthusiasm for the matter in hand was only matched by his energy in pursuing it.

This was evident, when in 1915, at the age of 18, he joined the Gloucestershire Regiment and was awarded the Military Cross the next year. Subsequently he was wounded, but he reached the rank of captain before going up to King's College, Cambridge, to begin his medical studies.

He qualified from St Thomas's Hospital in 1924 and after experience in the surgical and obstetric departments entered general practice, a life he found enjoyable and fulfilling.

Crockford's career in the Second World War was as distinguished as would be expected. He served with the 43rd Guards Armoured Division in North Africa and subsequently with the 46th and 56th Divisions in the Central Mediterranean Force with the rank of colonel. The record of the 43rd Division is a matter of history and the part played by the Senior Medical Officer was recognised by the award of the DSO in 1943 (a year after the Torch 'invasion'), and again in 1945 his appointment as OBE. He was a very considerable character, and after the battle was always welcomed when he visited units of the RAMC because of the vigour he brought with him and his friendliness.

It was a matter of great satisfaction to those who had known Allen Crockford in the war when he was appointed Secretary to the Medical School of St Thomas's Hospital.

This appointment as head of the Dean's staff involved him in frequent personal contacts with both students and members of the teaching staff. His room was the focal point for those students who needed advice and help and their welfare was of prime concern to him. He also had the important function of organising and taking part in their selection and in caring for their interests after their qualification. The co-ordination of teaching and the combination of contributions to be made by each academic department and by the NHS consultant staff required knowledge and, on occasions, tact. Happily he was the right man for this job. He knew about men and being approachable and thus got the best out of them. The efficiency of the Dean's office was appreciated by all.

'Crockers' was regarded with affection by staff and students alike. He had about him the aura of a confident and friendly senior officer and his presence was reassuring.

He was honorary surgeon successively to King George VI and the present Queen and was appointed CBE in 1955. He retired with the rank of brigadier. He married Doris Brookes-Smith in 1924 and they had a son and two daughters. It was a great sadness when David, a consultant in plastic surgery, predeceased his parents.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Ashdown Group: Human Resources Manager

£28000 - £35000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: A successful organisation...

Recruitment Genius: Internal Recruiter - Manufacturing

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Internal Recruiter (manufact...

Ashdown Group: HR Manager (CIPD) - Barking / East Ham - £50-55K

£50000 - £55000 per annum + 25 days holidays & benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Man...

Recruitment Genius: Operations / Project Manager

£40000 - £48000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This software company specialis...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent