Dr John Neville Cave

Personal Details 

Dr John Neville Cave

07/06/1910 - 1979

Place of birth: Sutton, London, UK

Nationality: British

CRN: 715345

Education and qualifications

General education

St Paul’s School, presumably London, but unconfirmed.Magdalene College, Cambridge.St Thomas’s Hospital Medical School, London.

Primary medical qualification(s)

MRCSEng LRCPLond, 1935.

Initial Fellowship and type

FFARCS by election.

Year of Fellowship


Other qualification(s)

BA 1932, MA 1936, Cambridge University.DA, 1938.


Professional life and career

Postgraduate career

Initial postgraduate appointments unknown.

Paper in 1938 BJA (vol 15, p158) records him as ‘Anaesthetist to St George’s Hospital, London’, this confirmed (plus appointments to other London hospitals) in 1939 Medical Directory.

During World War 2 served in RNVR (joined 05/08/1938) on HMS Cochrane (RN Auxillary Hospital near Aberdeen), HMS Dauntless (Cruiser), HMS Roberts (Monitor) and HMS Victory (RN Hospital, Haslar) with final rank (retired 01/04/1946) of Surgeon Commander/Specialist Anaesthetist.

Returned to previous appointments after war, but emigrated to Durban, RSA in 1947 (general registration recorded 27/09/1947; specialist anaesthetist registration 25/10/1947).

Thereafter, addresses in Durban or elsewhere in Natal identified, but no appointments recorded.

Professional interests and activities

The BJA paper mentioned in the previous section was on spinal anaesthesia, and one published in the SA Medical Journal of 17/12/1949 was on the then new neuromuscular blocking drug decamethonium iodide.

Elected a member of the AAGBI in 1939, and a Fellow in 1947.

Other biographical information

Parents were Percival Valentine and Nellie (nee Brown) Cave of Sutton, London, UK.

Author and sources

Author:  Professor J A W Wildsmith

Sources and any other comments:
JN Cave’s life and career in the UK are well documented (except for the first 2 years after qualification), and thanks are due to the archives of Magdalene College, Cambridge University and St Thomas’s Hospital for their information. Other details have been obtained from Medical Registers & Directories, the naval website www.unithistories.com and reports in various journals. However, little is known about him once he had emigrated to South Africa. Initially he was associated with Dr (later Prof) H Grant-Whyte (another early Fellow), but extensive enquiries made with the kind assistance of Dr Peter Gordon, archivist of the South African Society of Anaesthetists, have not been productive. The Medical Registers in the UK and RSA record addresses, but little else, and not even his date of death has been confirmed definitively. It may be that he discontinued anaesthesia, and further information would be most welcome.