Vincent Hugh Allan was the son of W.B. Allan of Sheffield. He was bom in Sheffield and educated at Nether Edge Grammar School and Sheffield University, where he first took a science degree in physiology, gaining first class honours. He qualified in medicine at Sheffield three years later in 1940.
After working as house physician and casualty officer at the Royal Hospital for six months, he entered the Royal Navy as a Surgeon Lieutenant serving in destroyers and depot ships. Later he served in combined operations, and finally went to a shore appointment in India where he was Medical Specialist at St George’s Hospital and the Royal Naval Hospital, Bombay.
Returning to Britain in 1946, he worked at the Chesterfield and North Derbyshire Royal Hospitals before going back to the Royal Hospital, Sheffield, as Medical Registrar. In 1948 he moved to the Royal Victoria Infirmary, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, as Senior Medical Registrar. Following this appointment, in 1950 he became Consultant Physician to the Sunderland Group of Hospitals, a position which he was holding at the time of his death twenty-five years later.
His hospitals were the General and Ryhope, and he worked in these during the whole time he was in Sunderland. He had a great understanding of human nature and cared for his patients deeply, being always kind and considerate. He enjoyed his work and liked teaching and training his junior staff. Although essentially a general physician his predominate interest was in psychosomatic disorders and problems. Some of his ideas on therapy were a little unorthodox and out of line with current views.
As a man he was reserved, quiet and retiring but forthright and independent with a dry, and at times quizzical, sense of humour. He was capable of making pungent, penetrating and perspicacious comments in committee.
He was not a socially inclined person and his main interests were within the family; he read a great deal and liked hill walking and the countryside.
In 1940 he married Margery, the daughter of W.H. Simcox, JP, of Maltby, Yorkshire, and had two sons.
Sir Gordon Wolstenholme
[Brit.med.J., 1975, 1, 461.]