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Peter Blaxter died suddenly on the 3rd May 1997 from a heart attack. He had suffered from circulatory problems for some years and shortly after his retirement developed a homonymous hemianopia as a result of an occipital lobe infarct, a cruel blow which he bore with stoicism.
He was born in 1918 and educated at Tonbridge School. His medical training was at St John’s College, Cambridge and Guy’s Hospital. Following qualification in 1942 he held house appointments at Guy’s and following a three year period of National Service began his ophthalmic career at Guy’s and Moorfields. In 1950 he was appointed consultant ophthalmologist at Fulham Hospital. During the period 1948–54 he also held the post of research assistant at the Institute of Ophthalmology. In 1954 he left London and moved north to Manchester where until 1982 he was consultant ophthalmic surgeon at the Manchester Royal Eye Hospital. From 1956 to 1982 he was also ophthalmic surgeon to the Manchester Jewish Hospital. During his professional career he was a vice president of the ophthalmic section of the Royal Society of Medicine, president of the North of England Ophthalmological Society in 1971, and also held the vice presidency and was a council member of OSUK. From 1967 to 1982 he was on the Council of the Faculty of Ophthalmologists and was master of the Oxford Ophthalmological Congress in 1975 and 1976. He was an examiner for the Ophthalmic Nursing Board, the British Orthoptic Board, and on the Court of Examiners of the Royal College of Surgeons for several years.
I had the privilege of training under Peter Blaxter. He was a delight to work with and had a deceptively simple approach to clinical ophthalmology. However, behind his almost casual approach lay a very keen mind which had the ability to lay bare the important facts very rapidly. Surgically he was deft and gentle and never carried out any unnecessary manoeuvres, perhaps a result of his training with H B Stallard. His main interest was ocular motility, again perhaps influenced by another of his contemporaries, T Keith Lyle. Peter was a very generous host, and many people including his staff enjoyed his hospitality at Wilmslow.
He is survived by his wife Patricia, two sons, and a daughter who is a general practitioner in South Africa.