Horace Evans was born in Merthyr Tydfil, Glamorgan on 1st January 1903. His father, Harry Evans, was a renowned organist and conductor and in 1906 the family moved to Liverpool, where he had obtained a position as conductor of the Welsh Choral Union. The family home was 26 Princes Avenue L8. Horace was educated initially at Liverpool College, and then, following in his father’s footsteps he attended the Guildhall College of Music in London. His father died, aged just 41, in 1914, and perhaps left to chart his own way in life at 18 he embarked upon a career in medicine and from 1921 to 1928 studied at the London Hospital medical school.
Gaining a post in the London Hospital in 1929 he came under the wing of the eminent physician and pathologist Sir Arthur Ellis, whose support would be a major factor in his subsequent career advancement. Having gained wide experience in several fields and successive posts in the London Hospital in 1946 he was appointed physician to Queen Mary (widow of George V and mother of the reigning monarch George VI.) In 1949 he was appointed physician to George VI and was closely involved in the treatment of the king’s illness which led to his death in 1952. In 1957 he was appointed physician to Queen Elizabeth II. These appointments contributed to his being knighted in in 1949, and being made Baron Evans of Merthyr Tydfil in 1957.
The historian Peter Hennessey referred to Evans as “probably the leading physician of his generation” and he was generally lauded by his peers as a man of great professional expertise and considerable personal qualities.
It has been suggested that Evans’ empathy with his patients and their families was fostered in part by his own unfortunate family circumstances. His wife, Helen Aldwyth Davies, suffered poor health throughout their marriage and one of his two daughters died after being accidentally electrocuted.
Horace Evans died on 26th October 1963, aged 60.
Horace Evans childhood home from which he attended Liverpool College
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