Obituary Dr Herbert Millson Price (SH 1934-38)

Dr Herbert Price (known to his many friends as 'Herbie') died on 12th December 2010 after a long and varied life.

Herbert was born at sea en route for Ceylon (where his parents were travelling to take up medical appointments) on 11th January 1921. He spent the first 12 years of his life in Ceylon, and returned when his father set up as a GP in Reading. Initially educated at Reading School and then at Blundell's, he decided to follow his father into medicine and went to study at the Middlesex Hospital. This period coincided with the war years; Herbert acted as a fire warden during the blitz and was later a captain in the TA. As a medical student he joined Wasps Rugby Club, where he played hooker in the first XV (his father had represented Ireland on two occasions in 1920) alongside many internationals. At the end of the war, Herbert joined his father's medical practice at Cemetery Junction in Reading, eventually taking over from him when he retired.

Over five decades Herbert served the local community in Reading as a GP, and amongst his patients were many members of the Asian community, by whom he was particularly respected, and by whom he would often be invited to family homes for weddings and other festivals.

Herbert's passion for rugby persisted all his life, and over the years he moved from Wasps to Windsor, thence to Reading, and found time to run the University Vandals' Sunday sides at Walton; he continued to play until he was well over 60. He had a number of other interests, including photography, gardening, and keen involvement with the Medical Museum at the Royal Berkshire Hospital (where some of his exhibits are still to be seen). Another major hobby of his was rifle shooting, at which he was equally proficient on both miniature and full-bore ranges, competing at County level with especial success in small-bore matches. He regularly shot for the Blundell's Magpies in the Veterans' matches at Bisley, and managed to achieve sound scores into his mid-eighties. He was appointed President of the Magpies Rifle Club in 2005, in which he had already left his mark, winning the Willoughby Trophy (highest scorer in the annual match with the school) on no fewer than three occasions between 1989 and 1999.

Herbert was extremely clubbable, good-natured and a real gentleman; many OB shooters will long treasure memories of his rich store of humorous anecdotes, especially during relaxed moments after shooting. He was always equable in temperament: on one occasion an assistant coach altered his sights the wrong way during a competition at Bisley, with predictable results; when the embarrassed fellow had to admit to his error, Herbert merely grinned, observing that he thought it might have been the case, but hadn't liked to mention it!

Herbert is survived by his first wife Valerie, by his second wife Janet, by three sons Richard, Philip and Ivan; and by five grandsons.