Already an accomplished musician and pianist, he then developed skills as an organist. Understanding the vagaries and ‘snafus’ of that particularly eccentric instrument, when his Housemaster developed TB and later sadly died, Tony became interim College organist, Choirmaster and Director of Music under the supervision of his new Housemaster, the Rev A D Drake-Brockman, School Chaplain and classicist.
On the sporting field he had a good eye for ball games and later as a medical student played for Staines Hockey Club.
In the Greek Theatre in 1942, he played Nerissa, Portia’s handmaiden in The Merchant of Venice, causing some excitement amongst a party of American airmen from the base at Thatcham who were heard hoping to “date the dame” until much to their chagrin and dismay were told that Nerissa wasn’t a dame but a chap!
In his last term at Bradfield, he was a College Prefect in the Junior Common Room, played St Joan in the Greek Theatre (pictured behind) under the direction of Cecil Bellamy, passed the external first MB, BS medical exams, winning a scholarship to Guy’s Hospital Medical School and was a Junior Under Officer (JUO) in the Officers’ Training Corps (OTC).
All set to go into the army he was persuaded by Headmaster, Col John Hills, and his parents, to qualify first as a doctor.
At Guy’s he ran the music club with a highlight being a visit by Ralph Vaughan Williams and other London musicians. He also played the organ in Southwark Cathedral where the Guy’s music club gave concerts.
After house jobs at Guy’s, he entered the Royal Army Medical Corps, his first posting being to Kenya as Medical Officer to the 4th King’s African Rifles and then, having achieved his Majority, was posted to Egypt as Deputy Assistant Director of Medical Services 1st Inf. Div, Middle East Land Forces, the same branch of the army as his father.
Returning to Guy’s, Tony worked in paediatrics and then as a medical registrar in General Medicine. At one time he couldn’t decide whether to follow a career in medicine or music. To some extent he emulated the polymath Boyd Neel, a GP at Elephant and Castle, Southeast London, who founded his orchestra and then later became Dean of Music at Toronto University. Having married Liz, who had trained as a classical singer, he then decided to go into General Practice. He was a GP in Henley-on-Thames from 1955- 1989, was much involved with the Young Disabled Unit and was also School Doctor at Shiplake College.