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Ian Edmunds

Picture of Ian Edmunds.

My Brother, Ian. There aren’t enough words in the dictionary to describe him. My few words here can only give a broad remembrance of such a wonderful man. A devoted and loving husband to Rosie, a loving and revered father to Tim and Elspet, a true friend and colleague to many who will read this and, to Gillian and I, a much loved brother. His sense of humour and wit combined with his ability to produce just the right phrase or comment at almost every occasion were renowned. His words of support and help were valued by many, from family and friends to colleagues and patients the lives he touched are too numerous to count. On a personal level I shall be forever grateful for his support for me at a particularly stressful time with my work. He promised that his prescription of 40 minutes listening to Mozart (the Piano Concerto No26) together with a recommended dose of 2 glasses of cold Tio Pepe, applied when needed, would work wonders - and it still does.

In ways, a typical elder brother, he was sure of his right to his place in family society – at the top. He stayed up later than Gilly and I – he got to see Danger Man (with Patrick McGoohan) on a Sunday night – we weren’t old enough. I had to wait 20 years until the repeats came along on cable TV! He studied sciences for A levels at the Grammar School in Enfield and maintained that connection by becoming a member of the Old Boys’ Association. At school he even had some claim to athletic fame – some of you who read this may not know that he was the Middle School and then Senior School Champion for throwing the discus. However, for some reason whilst studying for his A levels he decided to buck the trend and abandon the obvious course of a Science or Medical degree and applied to read Law. In those days universities rather liked potential students to have some sort of understanding of their chosen degree course prior to arrival on campus. Nowadays it seems to be somewhat like open-house and any grounding will do. He didn’t quite make the grades required from a science based student though. So, for a while it was the National Provincial Bank in Trafalgar Square that provided a desk for him to lean on. However, in a time when the bank was seen as a nice safe career for life, can you imagine our father’s reaction when Ian told him that he wanted to leave work and go to Medical School instead. University normally meant 3 or perhaps 4 years of support and here was his son proposing at least 6 years of study.

Well, he did it, not only becoming Doctor Edmunds in 1974 but also collecting a wife along the way, dear Rosie. Following a number of hospital appointments Ian moved into General Practice at Knebworth in Hertfordshire in 1977 where he was to practice until his decision to retire at his 60th birthday last September. He decided to continue to work a couple of days a week as a locum for a few months before finally retiring. Ian and Rosie had made many plans for their retirement and it is a cruel irony that they have been denied this by his untimely death.

Ian had many interests in his life, all of which he always addressed seriously. “If you’re going to do something - then do it properly”, a bit of a family motto, I feel sums up his attitude to these many areas. His social life with his family and friends, his appreciation of good food and wine, his cars (I’ll never forget that drive down to Devon in his Porsche Carrera Sport!). Travel, fly fishing, computers, books, music, antiques – the list is long and broad. Sailing though was almost a passion. We started together in 1963 as school boys by learning to sail, together with our father, at Salcombe in South Devon, a favourite place of the family to which we returned many times. The first boat we sailed was a Conway One Design called “Joanna”. We were bitten. The following year again at Salcombe we progressed to chartering a 27 ft Tumlaren called “Zara”. Later that year our father decided to buy a boat and we then centred our sailing at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club based at Burnham on Crouch in Essex. “Witch”, a 30ft East Coast One Design, became the family craft for the next ten years or so. After “Witch” came “Grenade”, a Luke class 5 ton sailing cruiser. From the mid 70’s though his medical career rather took over as did his family life and it wasn’t until the mid 80’s that he purchased a Devon Yawl, “Swallow” and started sailing again. Firstly, at Bewl Water in Kent and then, via various trips to the West Country, back to Burnham again. After “Swallow” came a venture into motor powered boating with the purchase of “Kittiwake”, a Hardy Pilot 20 footer. She was based firstly at Dartmouth in Devon then Poole in Dorset and finally at Bray on the Thames. But sail was his true delight and indeed, having visited Southampton Boat show last Autumn, Ian and Rosie had ordered their new boat, a 19ft gaff rigged day boat, to be completed by this Spring.

“The wind is free” is a phrase close to the heart of any true sailor, so, let the winds be kind and the seas be calm for the voyage he is now on.

Added by: Kevin Edmunds on 21 February 2009.

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Picture of Ian Edmunds.
Picture of Ian Edmunds.

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