Obituary – Charles Backhouse (B2 1948-52)

My father, Charles Ivan Backhouse (B2 1948-52), was born in Penzance in 1934 and later educated at Marlborough College where he developed an interest in science and going into medicine, encouraged by both his grandfathers, Dr E Edwards and Dr CF Backhouse.

He obviously laid down some lasting memories as when my brother Roger went to Marlborough, he was met by Dickie West who said “Backhouse …. Backhouse ….. Are you anything to do with Charles Backhouse?” Thinking this was good news, my brother enthusiastically replied “Yes Sir!” Dickie West then said “I’d like to strangle you as I wish I had done to your father twenty five years ago.”

He always loved practical jokes. One time he dressed up as a Vicar with a friend Jonathan Dale Roberts (B1 1948-52) as his wife and a boy from Shell as their son, and got shown around the school as prospective parents. Suspicion arose when the school Chaplin spotted this Vicar wearing a false moustache and other pupils became curious. In the end they were rumbled and followed by a mass of boys all shrieking with laughter.

In 1959 he married Pamela (née van Millingen) and qualified in medicine from Peterhouse Cambridge / St Thomas’s Hospital London. After house jobs at St Thomas’s, he did a short service commission in the Royal Navy (1960-1963) serving in HMS Lion around the Mediterranean and South America. He became a Senior House Officer in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at St Luke’s Hospital Guildford 1963 before entering General Practice in West Byfleet 1964, moving in 1966 to East Horsley where he remained for 29 years. During this time he was also medical officer for HM Detention Centre Send for 15 years. His main practice interest was clinical research, particularly with new antibiotic and cardiovascular drugs. Lived at Hornbeam, West Horsley Surrey, moving to Boscawen Cottage, East Clandon in 1994; Retired 1995.

He loved playing the French Horn while at Marlborough and sang in the choir. This love of music continued and he became a member of the Bach Choir. His other interests were amateur archaeology, skiing, family history and walking the cliffs of Cornwall. He will be remembered for his fun and kindness he gave to his family, friends and patients. He celebrated his golden wedding anniversary last year. He leaves his wife Pamela, sister Judy, sons Roger (C3 1974-79), Peter (C3 1976-81) and Oliver (C3 1981-85) and nine grandchildren three of whom also went to Marlborough, Alex (LI 2005-10), Theo (LI 2007-12) and Ellie (MO 2010-15).

Oliver Backhouse (C3 1981-85)