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Obituary: William Peter Mason FRCS FRCOG

19th April 1947 – 19th February 2024

William Peter Mason was born in April 1947 in Abertillery, South Wales. His father was a civil engineer working for the local authority and his mother a French teacher. This may explain why he repeatedly failed his French ‘O’ level.

Peter was educated at the local school and at the Abertillery Grammar School before progressing to Bristol is a dental student in 1965. After the first year, he switch to medicine. He qualified in 1972 and junior Hospital posts took him to Bristol and Cardiff. He initially undertook surgical training and became a fellow over the Royal College of surgeons before sitting for the membership of the RCOG. Subsequently he worked as a registrar in Southampton which is where he met and later married Judy who was to become a consultant paediatric nephrologist and head of the renal transplant service at St. Thomas's Hospital in London.

Peter completed his training as a senior registrar at Addenbrooke's Hospital in Cambridge before moving to St Mary's Hospital in Paddington where he started in 1981. Peter was fortunate to be mentored by Sir George Pinker who later became the president of the RCOG.

At St Mary's Peter established the subspecialist Gyanecological oncology service with the help of his close friend and former trainee Alan Farthing. The gynaecological oncology unit at St Mary's later merged with the unit from Hammersmith to create the West London gynaecological Cancer Centre.

Peter was always a true advocate of women's health and for many years was involved with the Helene Harris Memorial trust which subsequently led to the inception of the Ovarian Cancer Action trust. In 2014 Peter retired from the oncology service and moved back to St Mary's Hospital working again in benign gynaecology.

Peter was always a loyal supporter of the RCOG as well as the Royal Society of Medicine and he was President of the Section of Obstetrics and Gynaecology in 2011.

Outside medicine Peter was a keen skier and sailor and he had a number of boats based at his house in Bosham. He is survived by Judy and 3 children; Andrew and Bob who are both doctors and his daughter Cathy who is a civil servant.

Peter was a friend, colleague and mentor to many of us during our training and subsequently as consultants. Peter was a gifted surgeon but also had the unique talent of being charismatic and being able to instill trust and confidence in his patients who were all universally adored him.

We all have our personal memories of Peter and the way in which he touched our lives. My wife was his subspecialty trainee at the Hammersmith and the day following his death in February turned to me and said “the world is now a poorer place when we have lost Peter”. I could not help but agree with her.