Harold Gardiner-Hill was educated at the Westminster School, Pembroke College, Cambridge, and St Thomas’s Hospital, where he graduated in 1915. He served in the RAMC until 1918, and then returned to St Thomas’s to join the newly formed medical unit under Hugh McLean as a research assistant. His interest was endocrinology, and this came at a time when it was becoming possible to measure the biochemical abnormalities in the clinical and pathological disorders which had already been described. After a brief appointment as assistant physician to the Royal Free Hospital in 1928, he was elected to the staff of St Thomas’s in 1929 and retired in 1956. He was elected MRCP in 1920, FRCP in 1928, and was the Oliver Sharpey lecturer in 1937.
He soon abandoned academic medicine for private practice, in which he was notably successful on account of his good opinion, dedication to the work, and his capacity to please both patients and general practitioners. He joined the staff of many small hospitals round London, which was then a recognized method of getting to know general practitioners, and for the same reason he lectured widely throughout the country.
He was a dapper little man with an affable manner and a sense of obligation towards his juniors. These friendly characteristics tended to obscure his intellectual capacity. They also concealed a somewhat contorted character beneath, and several of his colleagues found to their dismay that some casual remark had touched off a deep resentment in his mind, and were never spoken to again.
He was a notable golfer and half his obituary in The Times was devoted to these activities. He played for Cambridge University 1911 — 1912 and became a member of most of the best clubs in the British Isles. He was captain of the Royal and Ancient in 1956 and chairman of the Rules Committee 1949-1952.
He married Margaret Helen, daughter of Sir Farquhar Buzzard, also a physician to St Thomas’s Hospital, by whom he had three sons, all of whom went into commerce.
J Bishop Harman
[Brit.med.J., 1982, 284, 1202; Times, 30 Mar 1982]