Edward Hilton Brown was consultant physician at Hither Green Hospital. For a man always fit, and endowed with much energy and drive, the knowledge that he had carcinoma of the pancreas was indeed a cruel blow. In the normal course of things, he should have had many years of useful work ahead of him. He bore the last months of his illness with courage and extraordinary will-power, supported by his wife and daughter. He had married, in 1951, Faith Ella Brown (Sherry), daughter of John Henry Sheridan, an Army officer, and they had one daughter, Lesley.
Edward Hilton was born at Bristol, the son of Albert Edward Brown, a customs and excise officer, and his wife Mabel, daughter of Thomas Hornsby Hilton, a boot and shoe manufacturer. He was educated at Bristol Grammar School and the University of Oxford. He graduated at Oxford and undertook his clinical training at Bristol Royal Infirmary, winning the Suple prize medal in surgery and the Sanders scholarship and silver medal.
After house jobs at the Bristol Royal Infirmary, during which time he took his DCH, he became assistant medical officer at Lewisham Hospital in 1945. The post included not only general medicine, paediatrics and anaesthetics, but also the care of 150 infants at Ladywell Residential Nursery. The latter provided much of the material for his DM thesis on giardiasis, and probably sowed the seeds of his life-long interest in infectious diseases. His National Service was spent in various military hospitals in Germany, and on its completion in 1950, he returned to Lewisham Health District as senior registrar in infectious diseases and general medicine at Hither Green Hospital.
Apart from a year as senior registrar at the Royal Free Hospital, 1954 — 1955, he remained at Hither Green and became consultant physician there in 1959. He was smallpox consultant for the Ministry of Health, on the advisory board of the Fellowship of Postgraduate Medicine, and an active member of the council of the Association for the Study of Infectious Diseases (now the British Society for the Study of Infection). He was also lecturer in infectious diseases at Guy’s Hospital medical school.
He wrote little, but his papers were of the highest quality. He was especially interested in the prevention and control of hospitalgenerated infections. He was devoted to Hither Green Hospital; its welfare, and that of its patients, was always uppermost in his mind. He taught generations of students the basic principles of infectious diseases. He was first and last a perfectionist; working extremely hard himself, he had little time for slackers. Outside his work, his interests lay in his family, gardening, bridge and reading.
Sir Gordon Wolstenholme
[Brit.med.J., 1977, 1, 1222]