Tributes and messages for well known GP Richard Rushton

Dr Richard Rushton who passed away on January 5

Dr Richard Rushton who passed away on January 5 - Credit: RUSHTON FAMILY

Obituary for Dr Richard 'Jim ' Rushton who passed away peacefully in his sleep, at home, on January 5, 2021 in Farnborough, Hampshire at the age of 88. 

Jim was born on May 111, 932 In Pole Hill Road, Chingford, Essex, the only son of Frank and Polly Rushton. 

He went to school in Chingford but was evacuated to Stoke on Trent in 1939 to his maternal grandparents. He did not stay there for long and returned to London in 1940. In 1949 he won an Open Minor Scholarship to King's College Cambridge to study medicine. In 1956 he graduated as a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery. He also gained Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons as well as being a Licentiate of the Royal College of Physicians.

He started his working life as a house officer at the London Hospital, Whitechapel, moving on to Banbury and Kettering. After various roles in Rotherham, Derby and Stafford he eventually moved, in 1965, to Huntingdon, where he took up the post of junior partner with Dr Charles Hicks.

During the 30 years in practice, he oversaw not only the increase in the number of doctors in the practice to eight at his retirement but the creation of three surgeries in Huntingdon, Godmanchester and RAF Wyton, now known as the Hicks Group.

His dedication to his practice and patients has been displayed in the hundreds of comments received from his former patients on the various social media sites. He was considered by his peers as an excellent clinician and his second opinion was frequently sought by them.

He remained in general practice until his retirement in 1995.

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Jim had five children – Chris, Martin, Ian and Gwen from his first marriage to Doreen Parr and Alison from his second marriage to Cynthia Mansfield. They set up home in Papworth Saint Agnes, where they lived for more than 40 years. Due to ill health Jim and Cynthia relocated to Laroc Close in Godmanchester which backed on to one of the Godmanchester surgery. The Godmanchester surgery had been converted from four old terraced houses in the mid 1970’s by Jim and the boys including a first floor flat. It was a real family/practice affair with everyone pitching in on the conversion. It has now been converted to a family home called The Old Surgery, and the surgery relocated to Pinfold Lane and is known as The Roman Gate surgery.

He could turn his hand to almost any DIY task and if he did not know how to do something, whether it was plumbing, electrics, mechanics, computers, etc., then he would find out. In the 1960s he had built his own car.

Also in the 1970s he bought a Ford Transit Minibus and converted it in to a motorhome with “all mod cons”. Future motorhomes purchased always were subjected to some form of customisation. An example of his ingenuity was fitting a redundant fan heater motor into a piece of drain pie to draw the cooler night-time outside air in to one of the motorhomes when on holiday in France/Spain during the summer.

Jim always had a great love of travel and in the 1970s saw the family disappearing off into Europe for 4 weeks camping in the summer holidays. He still managed to find time to learn Italian at evening classes as he was already fluent in French and German. He was also an accomplished cook, with a particular love of Indian food. He had gone out of his way in the early 1960s to learn from an Indian doctor who he worked with. They utilised the hospital kitchens on a Sunday evening – it would never be allowed today!! He also became very interested in genealogy and, during retirement, often took on the research of friends and their families as well as working on his own family.

After Cynthia died in 2012, Jim moved down to live with Alison in Farnborough where he spent the last seven years of his life. He is survived by his five children, 13 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren

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