Roland Anderson was born in Streatham, the son of Arthur Herbert Anderson and his wife Sarah Kate née Joslin. He was educated at Mercer’s School and St Bartholomew’s Hospital, University of London. After qualification he held house jobs at the Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford, before returning to Bart’s in 1928 where he was, successively, house physician to Francis Fraser, later Sir Francis [Munks Roll, Vol.V, p.141]; ophthalmology house surgeon; external midwifery assistant; demonstrator in pathology; chief assistant to Lord Horder [Munk's Roll, Vol.V, p.198]; casualty physician and curator of the museum. He was also clinical assistant to the neurology department at Bart’s, as well as registrar to the City of London Hospital for Diseases of the Heart and Lungs; physician to the Eastern Dispensary, London; diagnostic physician to the Tavistock Clinic and part-time assistant school medical officer to the then London County Council. He was appointed consultant physician to Cheltenham General Hospital in 1938 - the first specialist appointment there (apart from ENT) not to be combined with general practice. With no medical secretaries, letters were handwritten and the pathology department was supervised by a physician colleague. Andy, as he was known, worked hard at the hospital for over 30 years. It was typical of him to return soon after retirement in 1968 to do his colleague’s locum; he continued neurology clinics until he was 70 years old, when a specialist neurologist was appointed.
He also played his part in the slow modernization of the General Hospital so that 35 years later more expertise meant fewer cases needing referral elsewhere. He was a member of Cheltenham Rotary Club, president of the Cheltenham and Cotswold branch of Marriage Guidance and the first chairman of the local branch of the Samaritans. A committed Christian, he was active in Cheltenham Parish Church and latterly in Southam village church.
In 1934 he married Beryl Anderson, the daughter of James Shirras Anderson, a medical practitioner, and they had two children, a son and a daughter. Andy was a family man and, after retirement, former patients would delight is seeing him - in his late 70s - solemnly pushing his grandson, Nial, up Cleeve Hill. He also enjoyed oil painting and recording the dovecotes of the Three Counties. His wife died in 1986. His daughter Barbara followed him to Bart's and is in general practice with the University of London health service. His son Andrew, who is a wildlife film maker, was deep in Sichuan, China, filming giant pandas at the time of his father's death.
T P Ormerod
[Glos.Echo, Cheltenham 17 Jan 1968]