Mourners pay respects to ‘old-style’ doctor

Dr Philip Gray
Dr Philip Gray
Emma Sunderland-Hansen, Kiera Baillie, fundraiser Debbie Webb and Rachel Hibbert. Picture: Keith Woodland

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MOURNERS have paid their final respects to a well-respected community doctor in Gosport.

Family, fellow doctors and friends gathered for the funeral of Dr Philip Gray, 79, at St Mary’s Church in Alverstoke.

His wife Margaret Gray, 80, of Alverstoke, attended along with daughter Alison Doyle, 48, from Hertfordshire.

Mrs Doyle said her father, a member of Hardway Sailing Club, was highly intelligent and dedicated to his job.

‘He never regretted being a doctor – he always said he knew he wanted to be one as a child,’ she said.

‘He loved it and loved being with patients, he enjoyed seeing people in the community – bumping into them and talking to them.

‘He was not a private practice sort of a doctor, he was in the heart of the community type of doctor.’

Dr Gray first practised at the practice of Doctors Berry, Nicholls, Behrendt and Golding in Forton Road.

His training meant he was able to help many people in Gosport, as he had achieved diplomas in obstetrics and gynaecology, and anaesthetics, also working at Gosport War Memorial Hospital.

It was this hospital he fought to save when it was threatened with closure by the health authority of the day back in 1983.

Rosemary Paxton worked at the hospital and was later its facilities manager.

She said Dr Gray gave a powerful speech in 1984 to defend against the closure.

She said: ‘He stood up and gave a very, very supportive speech about why to keep the hospital open.

‘The whole Thorngate Hall erupted – people felt the force of it.’

Dr Gray also did national service when he qualified as a doctor in 1956 after studying at Birmingham Medical School.

And in later years he helped lead the campaign against the closure of Royal Hospital Haslar.

Dr Wendy Peters worked alongside Dr Gray, when she joined his practice in 1982.

She said: ‘Philip was my role model, he was firm but compassionate, his patients did love him.

‘He was an old-style GP and they don’t exist anymore.’