Obituary: Professor Gerald "Charlie" Westbury
BASO is sad to report the death of a former President of the Association
Professor Gerald "Charlie" Westbury has died at the age of 86,
on 12 June 2014. He helped to transform the field of cancer
surgery, pioneering new procedures which focused on preservation of
physical function as well as cure. He was best known for his work
on sarcomas, and was an early advocate of what is now known as the
multidisciplinary approach. He also played a major role in
developing new reconstructive procedures for cancers of the head
and neck, including the "commando" procedure.
Westbury was born in London on July 29, 1927, into an Eastern
European Jewish family. His father was a tailor. After education at
St Marylebone Grammar School he trained at Westminster Medial
Schoool (part of the University of London). Following National
Service in the RAF he became resident surgical officer at the
Brompton Hospital and then at Westminster Hospital as registrar to
Sir Stanford Cade, succeeding him as Consultant Surgeon there in
1960. Westbury also served as Foundation Professor of Surgery at
the Royal Marsden (1982-89) and Dean of the Institute of Cancer
Research (1986-92), where he helped establish a Sarcoma Unit. He
was a Fellow of both the Royal Colleges of Surgeons and Physicians,
and President of BASO from 1990 to 1992.
In retirement he became a trustee of a number of charities, and
was a founding Fellow of Breakthrough Breast Cancer. He was
appointed OBE 1990.
Prof.Westbury married, in 1965, Hazel Frame, who died shortly
before her husband. Their three daughters, including
Charlotte Westbury, a consultant oncologist, survive him.