Tribute to Sydney Crowther

When Sydney Crowther passed away on 19 January 2015 at the fine age of 95, it was the end of an era for pharmacy. He was a remarkable man and a passionate “old-school” pharmacist.

He qualified from Bradford Technical College (now University) in 1941, registered in April 1942, and immediately joined the Royal Army Medical Corps. He was posted to Nigeria attached to the Royal West Africa Frontier Force, where he worked in the 46 West African General Hospital — a large institution with over 1,000 beds. Following this, he embarked in 1943 with the 81
st West African Division and travelled extensively, including the Mediterranean, Bombay, Calcutta and Chittagong to Dacca under South East Asia Command.

After being demobbed in 1946, Sydney joined the Halifax Co-operative Chemists and worked with them until 1952, when he joined Parke-Davis & Co in West Yorkshire. He continued with them through the merger with Warner Lambert until 1980, rising to regional sales manager for north-west England and north Wales. Following his retirement, Sydney continued to do locum community work until 1996.

Sydney was an ardent supporter of the Royal Pharmaceutical Society. He was the secretary of the Huddersfield and District Branch from 1961-65 and chairman of the branch from 1967-69. In 1996, he was created a life member of the branch. He continued to attend meetings right up until the death of his wife, Kathleen, in 2010.

He always read

The Pharmaceutical Journal

and often during my time on Council would quiz me over issues such as the closure of Birdsgrove House. Sydney and Kathleen were frequent visitors to Birdsgrove and he said it was a sad day when it closed. He even wrote to

The Pharmaceutical Journal

in 2005 about this issue.

Latterly, Sydney lived with his daughter Sarah (who also qualified as a pharmacist) in Wiltshire. He was a quiet, honourable man who was a credit to the profession. He maintained a circle of pharmacy friends in Huddersfield and I know that they will miss his dry wit and gentle manner. His wartime experiences prepared him for a long working life in pharmacy and he gave a great deal to the profession. With his passing, we have lost a wealth of experience and a lovely man.

Alison Ewing is a former Vice–President of the RPS.

Last updated
The Pharmaceutical Journal, PJ, 7 February 2015, Vol 294, No 7848;294(7848)::DOI:10.1211/PJ.2015.20067759

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