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Obituary: Timothy John Pocock

Tim Pocock died peacefully at home on Sunday 1st May after battling oesophageal cancer.

Born in Bristol on 2nd July 1946, he was the second of three children, of John Arthur Pocock, a distinguished General Surgeon at the Bristol Royal Infirmary and his wife, Cicely Barbara.

He attended Clifton College Preparatory School Bristol from 1953-59 and Clifton College Senior School from 1959-64 where he started in East House as a day boy then moved into Watsons as a boarder. He was known for his rugby and cricketing skills, his sense of humour, intelligence and wit. He decided to follow in his father’s and grandfather’s footsteps and pursue a medical career, studying at Bristol University from where he qualified in 1971 with MB ChB (and some kind of qualification in building a pedal car named Thrombus Three). After house jobs he worked first in orthopaedics then a year in General Practice and a further six months in urology before commencing his career in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. Tim started his O&G rotations in the Bristol hospitals, the Bristol Maternity Hospital, Bristol Royal Infirmary, Southmead and Frenchay. He gained his MRCOG in 1976. In 1978 Tim moved to London where he worked at the Westminster hospitals, first as registrar then Senior Registrar. During this time he gained his FRCS (Edin).

In 1984 Tim was appointed as Consultant Gynaecologist and Obstetrician at Southend University Hospital. At that time the Department was on the Rochford hospital site. With friends at Round Table he was a very active fund raiser for the colposcopy service. Laser equipment was installed; to this day the fund is still active.

Tim was also instrumental setting up the gynaecological oncology service in Southend, enabling the Hospital to obtain accreditation as a Gynaecological Oncology Centre in Essex.

He was a highly skilled surgeon, able to perform a wide variety of gynaecological surgery and had an enviable reputation amongst his colleagues and local GP’s. His skills in Obstetrics and Gynaecology were highly respected. His leadership skills were recognised when he was appointed as the specialty clinical director.

Patients remember him as calm, kind, and compassionate; his colleagues that he was an easy person to get on with and with a great sense of humour.

On the home front – he enjoyed DIY and undertook sustainable home alterations before they became generally popular by installing his own heat exchange system in the loft and enormous rain water storage and recycling tanks for which he did 95% of the work of digging the pipes and plumbing the tanks himself. His garden is a real tribute to his love of growing and building with ponds, gazebos and arbours all constructed by him.

He had a tendency to be somewhat impatient and did not like to waste time at work or at leisure. He skied – always trying to be faster than the rest of the family, sailed – trying to be the boat at the front of the fleet, and he drove his beloved old Series II Morris Minor as fast as possible on the John O’Groats to Lands End Endurance run. His love of classic cars also prompted him to purchase a beautiful Series II E-Type Jaguar, though he didn’t have long enough to fully appreciate it.

In his final months he showed great bravery and dignity and left a legacy of which his family are very proud.

He is survived by his widow, Deborah, and their sons, James and Nicholas; his first wife Jessica, their son Christopher (his wife Nicola and two granddaughters), and daughter Helen; his sister Susan and brother Richard.

Tim will be greatly missed by many.

Mrs Deborah Pocock