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IN tribute to Kenneth George Hibbitt (VR, November 30, 2013, vol 173, p 530), Joe Brownlie writes: Ken Hibbitt was born in Bristol in 1928; his father was an engineer and his mother a teacher. As a young boy, he was a talented singer. He became head chorister at St Paul's Church in Bristol and, while attending Southville Junior School, won a choral scholarship to Bristol Cathedral School. Unfortunately, he was unable to take up this scholarship because, when his time came to enroll, it was the start of the Second World War – a bomb destroyed their neighbour's house and devastated the family home.
All the Hibbitts were evacuated to the village of Burrington in the Mendip Hills, Somerset, where they rented two rooms in the Plume of Feathers pub, and from there Ken attended the local village school. Bristol Cathedral School now refused to accept him but, with the help of an irate grandmother, the kindly headmaster at St Brendan's Roman Catholic School in Bristol readily accepted him. These were happy years and they profoundly influenced his religious beliefs. He cycled from his home in Whitchurch in Somerset to the school in Park Row – over 10 miles daily. Cycling was a sport he enjoyed throughout his life, and later he would cycle from the Yorkshire practice to his Somerset home and back.
During his school holidays, Ken would help Marjorie Levy in her veterinary practice in Whitchurch, thereby confirming his decision to study veterinary science. To do that, he needed to pass the Higher School Certificate in sciences; in fact, the school had to employ extra scientific teaching staff to facilitate him and three other pupils, all of whom wanted to study scientific subjects at university. After school, he was rejected …
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