The brackets closed on Caroline Richmond's life on 24th December 2023. She was kind and a passionate advocate of excellence in medicine and surgery.
Caroline did not hide from herself. Her foibles were human. Rather than bemoan litter, Caroline would pick up the debris. Since she experienced pleasure from a clean environment, Caroline thought others would and should also.
My interactions with Caroline were few, but they were significant.
As her commissioner for medical technology items when I edited New Scientist's technology section in the mid-1980s, Caroline's pitches to me were clear, brief and of unmistakable significance. We were colleagues then, rather than friends. Our journeys continued down different paths.
And then when life threw me a curve ball, and I needed a friend Caroline was there. Front and Centre. She had not yet met her new partner — at least if she had — she was discrete.
It was in walks when she was a guest in my home in the late noughties that I learned of her emotional pain when the lining of her womb was removed. One of her innocent and great joys was her local Arts club in Chelsea. I know for certain one talk she heard there, given by AS Byatt, engaged her mind deeply. She had taken me as her guest. She sent me a book entitled, "The Borrowers". She tried to remain a friend when I found trust hard.
We all know that later in her career, Caroline won plaudits for the obits she wrote in newspapers and magazines about renowned doctors and surgeons. We know we — ABSW — awarded her a life membership, and we know The Medical Journalists' Association made her an honorary member. We know as a journalist Caroline could scrap with the best, and was not afraid of a legal fight. Of course, she was not always right: no-one is.
But here in our newsletter and to you, her colleagues, I present the Caroline Richmond I knew: a woman who when, though she did not know, I viewed suicide as a viable option, had travelled nearly 200 miles to go out for lunch with me.
Here's to Caroline Richmond. We raise a glass to your life.