Bernard Crawford, Consultant Plastic Surgeon in Sheffield from 1957 to 1984, died in hospital on 24th January 2007 at the age of 87 following major surgery to remove an intraoral carcinoma.
He was a graduate of Sheffield Medical School and joined the Plastic Surgery Unit set up by Wilfred Hynes in the Royal Hospital as an SHO in 1949. This came after War Service in Burma where Bernard was shot through the forearm sustaining a partial median nerve injury. Fortunately, function in the hand was not compromised and in customary fashion for those days Bernard progressed within the Unit to Senior Registrar and then to a Consultant post in 1957. The Plastic Surgery Service consolidated its activity at Fulwood Annex later Fulwood Hospital where Bernard spent the rest of his career.
Not of a flamboyant nature Bernard had an incisive and mischievous sense of humour. He had an eye for pretension and a great understanding of the human condition. A chance encounter of one of his telling brief handwritten notes in a Medical Record could enlighten a grinding clinic. On reviewing an angry, disappointed patient post rhinoplasty, Bernard was unable to find an operation note within the records, he wrote ‘poor result, disgruntled patient; artiste unknown’.
Bernard took part in the training of a number of surgeons from overseas and remained in touch with them. Even in his retirement he supported these colleagues by reading and correcting manuscripts. He was one of that elite band who was trained by the pioneers of Plastic Surgery in this country. He had a vast clinical experience and this together with his wide knowledge of the Plastic Surgery literature made him a clinician of renown, much sought after to give second opinions. He was always interested in new advances and techniques but quick to spot deficiencies by applying the acid test ‘will it work in Barnsley?’
Bernard had an academic approach to the Specialty which was rewarded with a Hunterian Professorship at the Royal College of Surgeons in 1966. Even late in his career he continued to publish and strongly encouraged his trainees to do the same. He had no interest in private practice.
During retirement Bernard enjoyed painting, he was pre-deceased by his wife and greatly looked forward to visits by his family when he could entertain his grandson.
Bernard was a superb colleague and greatly appreciated by his patients for his frank, straightforward clinical advice. Affectionately known, behind his back, as ‘Sir Bernard’, he made a deep impression on all those who worked with him, and in a quiet way he made an enormous contribution to Plastic Surgery. When the time came, he signalled his desire to depart by drawing a sunset.
© 2007 Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.