'Kind and gentle' retired Ipswich Hospital orthopaedic consultant dies

Andrew Gunn, who had been an orthopaedic consultant at Ipswich Hospital, died on October 16 at the age of 90

Andrew Gunn, who had been an orthopaedic consultant at Ipswich Hospital, died on October 16 at the age of 90. Here he is at home in Spinney Hill in Tuddenham St Martin - Credit: Supplied by family

An orthopaedic consultant who served with Ipswich Hospital for more than 20 years and made a "significant contribution" to the community has died.

Andrew Gunn passed away peacefully at St Katharine’s Care Home in Wantage, Oxfordshire, on October 16, aged 90. 

Mr Gunn, who qualified as a doctor at Guy’s Hospital Medical School in 1956, settled in Ipswich in 1971 and led the appeal for innovative medical imaging equipment for Ipswich Hospital.

His line of work in orthopaedics was in hip replacements and dealing with bones and joints that had got broken.

His daughter Felicity Hough, 64, from Derbyshire said he had made a "significant contribution to the life of the community".

She said: "He was known for his meticulous attention to detail and his kindness towards patients and their families."

This photo appeared with an article in the East Anglian Daily Times about an appeal to fund the new X-Ray equipment

This photo appeared with an article about an appeal to fund the new X-Ray equipment, believed to be from the East Anglian Daily Times in the 1970s. Andrew Gunn is on the far left - Credit: Photo of newspaper cutting

Mr Gunn was chairman of the Arthritis and Rheumatism Council and was also on the board of the British Palawan Trust, a charity that sends surgeons for a month or so each year from Ipswich Hospital to the island of Palawan in the Philippines to undertake orthopaedic surgery.  

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He married Elizabeth Chiesman, who had trained as a physiotherapist at St Thomas’s Hospital, in 1956 - the same year he qualified as a doctor at Guy’s Hospital Medical School.

Just before the end of the first year of their marriage Mrs Hough was born, so Mrs Gunn gave up her work in hospital to look after her and later her brothers. Robert was born in 1959, then James in 1962 and Neil in 1966.   

Andrew Gunn and his wife Elizabeth celebrating her birthday about 12 years ago

Andrew Gunn and his wife Elizabeth celebrating her birthday about 12 years ago - Credit: Supplied by family

Mrs Hough said her parents "embraced Suffolk as a home county".

She said: "They chose the village of Tuddenham St Martin with easy access to the East Suffolk County Hospital at Heath Road, Ipswich, and lived for 40 years first in Old Glebe House, then Spinney Hill, and kept fit with walking the dog and swimming.

"They loved singing at the Royal Hospital School Choir and being a part of NADFAS [National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts Societies], as it then was, and going to many concerts at Snape Maltings."

Mrs Hough said her mother’s shared interest in anatomy was of great importance, throughout their lives, and he always appreciated her mother's "superb management of the home, her cooking, her creative skill expressed through gardening and painting, her being such a hub of the family".

She added: "They had some super holidays travelling to visit friends from student days or with my brothers or me: Madeira, Australia and New Zealand - to follow the Test team when on tour one Christmas - Canada, America, Kenya and South Africa."

Mr Gunn's love of cricket began when he was a boy - he was captain of cricket at Fettes College in Edinburgh and also played rugby in the first fifteen.

From 1950 to 1953, he studied medicine at Cambridge University punctuated by plenty of cricket and rugger.

Three generations with Andrew Gunn's grandmother and mother next to Mr Gunn in the middle then his siblings John and Jane

Three generations with Andrew Gunn's grandmother and mother next to Mr Gunn in the middle then his siblings John and Jane. At Plockton facing Duncraig Castle in about 1942 - Credit: Supplied by family

Mrs Hough said in the 1990s following retirement two affiliations became important to her father: Catholicism and the Clan Gunn Society. 

He had told her that his conversion to Catholicism was both "a spiritual and intellectual transformation".

"He knew his Bible well, but he loved the symbolism, ritual and tradition of the Catholic Church, seeming as they do to express so much that is inexpressible," she said.

Mr Gunn, whose family roots are in the north Highlands, was president of the Clan Gunn Society for three years - a role he treasured.

Mrs Hough said: "We have had some lovely letters from people who remember Daddy as a man of great integrity, faithfulness, humility, kindness and gentleness.

"He could also have quite a twinkle of humour with a keen sense of timing. I have lost a gracious father and man whom I respected deeply, but with our shared faith and confidence in the Lord’s 'great and precious promises' I believe we will see him again."

Mr Gunn leaves his wife, four children, four granddaughters, Victoria, Rebecca, Alice and Charlotte, and three great-granddaughters, Freya, Emilia and Isla. 

The funeral will be held at St Mary's Catholic Church in East Hendred, near Wantage, on Friday, October 29. No flowers please, but donations to the British Palawan Trust would be welcomed.