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News > Annoucements > HADFIELD, Dr Noël


You are warmly welcomed to leave a message below, share your memories, and celebrate the life of Dr Noël Hadfield who we sadly lost in 2021.
24 Mar 2021
Written by Tara Biddle

The following obituary was provided by Noël's son, Robert Hadfield MBE (MH 67-71)

Dr Noël Hadfield, died peacefully at home in his 101st year on 17 February 2021.

Noël was the last of four siblings, born before, during and after World War One, into a musical and artistic household in Lancashire.

His parents had a poor record when it came to choosing schools and as a result his elder brothers experienced some miserable times at Sherbourne and Rossall. It was by dint of the good fortune that his parents had let their holiday home in the Lake District to an assistant master from Tonbridge whom they deemed to be a good chap that Noël was sent there to school.

His time in Manor House was happy.  He sang in the choir, was a reasonable cross country runner and even claimed to have enjoyed square-bashing on the Quad in the OTC.

After school he went to University College, London to study medicine. World War Two intervened but his time as an officer in the RAMC was a happy one. He never heard a shot fired in anger and learned enough Swahili to be able to converse many years later with the surprisingly large number of Swahili-speaking waiters and baristas that there seem to be in Surrey. He got to see Kenya, Egypt and Palestine (as it then was) although an ambitious plan to meet up in the Belgian Congo with his cousin Albert, by then serving with the Force Publique there came to naught. On pre-embarkation leave he did however bump into his former head of house, T P Page, on the shores of Lake Victoria where they exchanged a stiff greeting before going their separate ways. Even in Africa it was not done to fraternise with boys from the years above.

After the war he decided to specialise in anaesthetics. It turned out to be a good career choice and he was a happy anaesthetist for 45 years, mainly in his native Southport. There was a large garden with lawns to mow. There was plenty of entertainment in the town and restaurants where they were assured of a warm welcome. The Scientific Society, the Union Club and the fine art society provided cultural stimulation. He had a well-appointed garage where he spent many hours not only fettling his beloved cars but also repairing and fixing a myriad of other things. Domestic appliances were expected to last for decades, and generally did.

His post-medical world was busy and active. Now relocated to Weybridge he spent many happy hours driving grandchildren to school.  Whether or not they enjoyed being subjected to Alan Bennet’s monologues, John Betjeman’s poetry of Edith Piaf’s warblings as they travelled the crowded Surrey roads with a nonagenarian at the wheel is something only they know.

At his funeral we played the 1967 BBC recording of the congregation and choir of Tonbridge School singing the hymn `The Day Thou Gavest Lord is Ended’

MH (33-37)


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