Sir Arnold Elton CBE MS FRCS
1920 – 2018
Sir Arnold Elton, who died in October, was a founder member of the Conservative Medical Society in 1975 (Conservative Health since 2011).
He was its first and longest-serving Chairman, steering the Society through the difficult early years, when it was largely unknown and still finding its feet. In Opposition and in Government, he worked increasingly closely with Shadow Ministers and Health Ministers, as well as with Parliamentarians and advisers. Under his leadership, the Society became an important factor in Government health policy.
Beneath his respected and determined exterior, there was charm and kindness, and a modesty about his own achievements. This combination made him highly effective and well-liked.
In addition to a remarkable career as a consultant surgeon at Northwick Park, and becoming a Surgical Tutor at the Royal College of Surgeons, he worked for the Government on breast cancer screening which led to a well-deserved Knighthood. He was especially involved in supporting charities, particularly for diabetes, and was a very successful fundraiser – bringing in £2 million for the Duke of Edinburgh International Award.
He died at the great age of 98, still taking an active interest to the end in Conservative Health, of which he was President Emeritus. He will be greatly missed by all his friends and those who came into contact with him, and our sympathies go to June Mitchell, his devoted companion in recent years.
Professor Roger Williams CBE, current Chairman, writes: “From the time I took over from him, I not infrequently turned to him for advice over difficult issues and he was always so encouraging personally”.