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News > OP updates > Obituaries > Colin Leslie Carnelly Arnold RIP

Colin Leslie Carnelly Arnold RIP

Our thanks to Dr Colin Olford (OP 1950-59) for this tribute to his longtime friend and colleague
27 Jan 2022
Colin Arnold MA MB BCh MRCS LRCP DOBstRCOG Freeman City of London
Colin Arnold MA MB BCh MRCS LRCP DOBstRCOG Freeman City of London

Colin Leslie Carnelly Arnold (OP 1947-53)

July 29 1934 – November 18 2021

Prior to starting his distinguished PGS career in September 1947 Colin attended Boundary Oak School when it was at its original site at Widley just over Portsdown Hill on the old A3 London Road.  He came from a medical family, both his father & his grandfather were Portsmouth GPs, & the family home was close by, close enough for Colin to go home at lunch time to feed & talk to his father’s chickens in the fond belief they’d be more productive.

At PGS he was academic (King Scholarship 1948) and a good all round sportsman representing school and House at rugby and House at rowing and cross country.  In the Army Section of the CCF he rose to the rank of Under Officer.  But it was his thespian talent that was of particular note.  He played successive leading roles in the “Headmaster’s Dramatics” productions of: St Joan  (St.Joan);  Henry IV, Part 1 (Prince Hal); Devil’s Disciple (General Burgoyne), and Hamlet (Hamlet) – this last role becoming a matter of school folk lore!  Unsurprisingly he became a Whitcomb House prefect & was appointed Head Prefect in September 1952. In 1953 with A levels he achieved 1st MB & left school for Clare College, Cambridge, his father’s alma mater.

During his time at Clare Colin rowed for the college and took up and became an accomplished ballroom dancer.  He left Clare in 1956 with his BA and embarked on clinical undergraduate studies at St Marys Hospital Medical School in Paddington before finally graduating MA MB BChir in 1959.  He also attained  DOBstRCOG, then necessary in order to practice obstetrics in general medical practice, before in 1962 joining his father Leslie Arnold, great uncle and Dr David Constad (OP 1939 - 46) in what had been his grandfather’s medical practice based in North End.  The practice later amalgamated with another nearby and Dr Barrington Guyer (OP 1946 – 56) became a partner followed later by Dr Colin Olford (OP 1950 -59) forming something of a PGS coterie. 

In 1972 the group moved to one of the first purpose built GP premises in Portsmouth at Buckland from where Colin practiced until his retirement in 1990, his Clare College oar adorning the wall of his consulting room all his working life.  At this time the practice was one of the largest in the city with patients throughout Portsmouth, and doctors still performed home visits and provided maternity care, including delivery.

Colin was a hard-working, caring, meticulous and conscientious family doctor but nevertheless still found the time to serve for many years on the NHS District Management Team (1974-80) and District Health Authority (1981-89) helping to shape and steer NHS policy locally.

He retired in 1990 following a hip replacement, the second was done ten years later.

Not just a worker, he enjoyed family life and had wide interests.

From his early years till recently he regularly attended “the gym” from before it became fashionable and was also a keen swimmer.  For his size he could push prodigious weights and, during his long association with “Bob Woolgar’s” in Southsea, met a young aspiring bodybuilder, one Arnie Schwarzenegger, who became a firm friend!

He met his wife Ann on a blind date in 1965. They married in 1966 and became proud parents of two sons Stephen (OP 1976 - 86) & Jeremy (OP 1979 - 89), and later grandparents to six grandchildren.  The family home at Drayton was eventually left in retirement for their elegant home in Teapot Row, Southsea.

Enjoyable family holidays took place mainly in Europe but international travel later included trips to see Stephen in the USA.

Colin joined the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries in 1980, progressing to Freeman of the City of London and thus becoming a liveried member.  He was a gourmet and this offered ideal opportunities for fine dining. He also had developed his long interest in fine wines by serving on the committee of the BMA affiliated Hastings Wine Club for six years from 1974-80 and was a connoisseur whose knowledge of wine was encyclopaedic.  He and Ann were both consummate hosts enjoying entertaining and sharing their table with friends.  He also from 2009 joined the Oxford & Cambridge Club in Pall Mall.

He assiduously maintained lifelong contact with the school, remaining a friend of his old headmaster Donald Lindsay (PGS 1943 – 53) till his death, and then regularly attending events, including annual prize giving, till being precluded by ill health.

Having previously been fit, it is a cruel irony that his last year was blighted by an iatrogenic disability, a reaction to prescribed medication, leading to his eventual demise.

He will be remembered and missed by many with respect and affection, and by the author as the straightest of men.

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