SURGEON REAR ADMIRAL FRANK St. CLAIR GOLDEN, OBE, MB, BCh, BAO, Dip Av Med, PhD
Every day the prospect of surviving immersion, somewhere in the world, is improved because of Frank Golden, who died on 5th January 2014.
Francis St Clair Golden was born in Cork City on the 5th June 1936. He studied medicine at University College Cork, graduating in 1960. Frank took a short service commission in the RN, joining as a Surgeon Lieutenant in 1963 and serving as MO on HMS JAGUAR before extending his short service commission to a permanent one. An outstanding career followed. Whilst serving at RNAS Culdrose, he was involved in many air-sea rescues. It was the helplessness of not knowing how to prevent circum-rescue deaths that ignited his interest in physiology. In a subsequent appointment to the RN Air Medical School in Hampshire, he discovered, beneath the floorboards, a refrigerated pool that had been used after WWII to test aircrew immersion suits. So began a scientific career that spanned five decades providing new insights into the body’s physiological responses to immersion and cold exposure. In the early years of his studies he was frequently a participant in his own experiments. These led to improved techniques for the rescue and treatment of the victims of cold water immersion.
Frank was awarded Life Membership of the IASST in 2004 for contributions to survival at sea. He won many more awards including an OBE in 1981.
But it is Frank Golden the man that most will remember: his honesty and humility, incisive mind and glorious sense of humour; a great raconteur, a man whose company and counsel one sought and which were never disappointing, a loyal and dependable colleague and friend. Frank Golden was a giant of a man in every sense; he will be missed by all who knew him. Many who never knew him will survive because of his outstanding work.
Frank leaves his wife Jenny, three children and five grandchildren.