Obituary: Gynaecologist Ruth Roseveare, from Reepham, who treated women in India for 37 years

Ruth Roseveare

Ruth Roseveare - Credit: submitted

A respected doctor who cared for women in India has died, aged 96.

Ruth Roseveare was a well-known member of the community in Reepham where she retired after a long career practising medicine in India.

Dr Roseveare trained at the Royal Free Hospital in London in the late 1930s with the aim of becoming a missionary in India, following in the footsteps of her mother and father and her father's sister.

In 1946, after graduation, she became a doctor of obstetrics and gynaecology at St Stephen's Hospital in Old Delhi, India with the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. She was living in India at the time of partition.

St Stephen's was established as a women's hospital in the days when it was socially impossible for an Indian woman to be treated by a man.

A spokesman for the family said: 'Though she lived through the many difficulties and threats of that period, she was loath to talk about the details afterwards. Perhaps that was because her continued service as a gynaecologist and obstetrician at the same hospital was such a valuable experience not only for her but for the entire community she served.'

She continued at the hospital until 1967 when she took over leadership of the St Stephen's Community, a women's religious order, where she was already living, following in the footsteps of her mother and paternal aunt, Eva Roseveare.

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Dr Roseveare retired in 1984 after 37 years in India to join her sister and brother-in-law, Mary and Arthur Garrett, in Reepham, living independently in her own house for the first time in her life.

The family spokesman added: 'She loved tending her garden, cooking Indian feasts for her friends and guests, living with the antiques left to her by her parents, and most of all enjoying the company of her many friends of all ages as part of the village community.'

'She was a formidable player of Scrabble and tireless completer of complicated puzzles.

'She was a very special aunt to her two nephews and two nieces. She was always fun, positive, and interested in visitors, especially young people.'

Dr Roseveare's brother-in-law was Dr Arthur Garrett, who was with the Reepham practice for more than 30 years.

She died peacefully at Hill Barn care home in Sparham, near Reepham, on November 16.

Her funeral and reception will be held at St Mary's and St Michael's Churches in Reepham, on December 12 at 1.30pm. All family and friends are welcome.

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