Dr Charles Martin-Bates

(St Thomas’, MBBS, 1975)

A traditional family doctor of the very highest calibre, Dr Charles ‘Charlie’ Martin-Bates has passed away from pancreatic cancer.

Charlie began his higher education at the University of Kent, where he studied Sociology, graduating in 1969. Not long after he completed his first degree, Charlie developed an interest in medicine and began his journey at the St Thomas’ Hospital Medical School from 1969–75, where he was awarded the Mead Medal for Medicine due to his hard work and dedication. After house jobs, he moved to Reading to undertake a GP rotation scheme at the Royal Berkshire Hospital. While in Reading, Charlie met his first wife, Dr Eva Galabova, a pathologist from Bulgaria; they married in 1979.

Following GP training, Charlie joined a practice at Emmer Green Surgery in Reading, where he remained for over 30 years. He was also part of the primary care research group in Oxford. Charlie’s main clinical interests were in diabetes and care of the elderly.

Charlie was a true polymath, with a vast number of skills and interests: a talented sportsman, linguist, musician and an amazing doctor. His patients adored him, and he always made himself available to them, working incredibly long hours.

Outside of the practice, Charlie was a devoted family man who loved the outdoors and trips to Scotland. When Charlie retired in 2012, he furthered his education and studied Tropical Medicine with his son, Alexander (Alexi), who is an Army doctor. Following this, along with his second wife Jane, he spent several spells working in resource-poor hospitals in Uganda.

Charlie was a proud and attentive grandfather, investing time, energy and love in the next generation. He was a wise counsellor to his many friends and family, often supporting them through difficult times. He was, by nature, analytical, constructive, compassionate and positive. He had a charming sense of humour and a keen wit, often putting this talent into song or verse. Charlie gave people in his company his undivided attention and was revered by all who knew him.

Charlie will be greatly missed by his family, friends, colleagues and the patients he served at Emmer Green Surgery. Thank you to his son, Alexi, for providing us with the information for this obituary.