Dr Barry T Thom. MB., MS., FRCPath. (OH 1943 – 1951)
02/02/2010
Barry Thom died on Tuesday 2nd February 2010 in a Hospice in Sussex aged 76.

Born in Ebbw Vale in 1934, his family later moved to Tredegar in the Welsh Valleys where he grew up as the oldest of three, having two younger siblings, Patricia and Denis. His parents wanted their children to have a good secondary education so Barry and Denis were both sent to the Cathedral School as boarders whereas Pat attended Newport High School for Girls. BT entered the Old Deanery House in 1943 being the recently opened second boarding house at HCS under Housemaster and Deputy Head Harry Wardle.

Whilst at school, Barry was a keen sportsman. He took part in most events, including boxing, rugby, athletics and rowing and was appointed Head of House after WWII.

He won a few boxing titles and in rugby he played Full Back becoming Captain of the 1st XV. In athletics, he won the Victor Ludorum Cup for three years running between 1949 - 1951. When the school arranged for a new VL Challenge Cup to be struck in 1953, Barry was already on course to qualify as a Doctor. He was invited to return to the school for Prize Giving the next year and to formally present the new trophy to the latest successful pupil. The Cup had BT’s name proudly engraved on it along with all the other winners over the past century.

Perhaps his most important sporting achievement however was when he was skipper of the HCS 1st IV crew, which won at Marlow Regatta in 1949. He returned to Hereford ten years later to challenge his former school to an anniversary race on the Wye during the School Regatta of 1959. BT and his fellow crew members, being the exact same team who were victors at Marlow ten years earlier, had lost nothing of their previous form managing to comfortably demolish the School IV by 4 lengths. Barry rowed at Bow and again acted as OH skipper.

BT achieved good ‘ A ‘ Level results and went on to read medicine at London University. He became an internal student who transferred to St Bartholomew’s Hospital Medical College in November 1956 where he completed his studies. After qualifying as Batchelor of Medicine, then later becoming Batchelor of Surgery, in 1965 Barry was awarded with distinction the Academic Postgraduate Diploma in Bacteriology by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

Having trained as a pathologist, Barry became a member of the Royal College of Pathologists. By now he had moved to Brighton, Sussex with his family and joined the Royal Sussex County Hospital where he worked up until his retirement. He was eventually elevated as a Fellow of the College, ending his career as a Director of Public Health Laboratory Services ( PHLS ) within the Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust.

He had only just moved with his wife Beryl to a new property in Worthing at the end of 2009 when his health sadly deteriorated rapidly. It is understood that he died of liver cancer within three weeks of diagnosis, yet had suffered with prostate cancer as an earlier symptom. The ironic thing is that Barry never complained once !

He was always a mild mannered gentleman, well respected by fellow professionals, work colleagues, friends as well as former school contemporaries. He seldom had a cross word and his dedicated service to patients was always matched by his devotion to family life. OH’s were particularly pleased to welcome BT to several recent lunchtime reunions in London which he enjoyed attending. He will be missed by his old school chums.

A funeral service took place on Monday 15th February 2010 at Worthing Crematorium, Findon, Sussex.
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