Development & Alumni Relations Office 

Dr Louise Mary Elizabeth Garfit Clowes, MB (died on 10 July 2014, aged 87)

Appreciation provided by Annie Sheaf (daughter)

Our mother was a great mother to the three of us. From a very early age, we all knew that Mum would never sit still, always doing things whether it was organising social events for my brothers and me; going off to clinics (she was a paediatrician and then GP around Surrey); lecturing around schools on the dangers of smoking and drugs (a memory from childhood is of two pairs of lungs in the boot of her car — one pair pink and healthy and the other pair black taken from a smoker!) She also put in an incredible amount of time for her two favourite Charities — QEFD and then later in life, The Children's Trust.

She and my father Edward were great party givers and had a great time in the early days when they lived in Kingswood. There was always a party that they were getting the house ready for whether it be a dinner for 10 or a party for 250 with a marquee in the garden. Our house in Kingswood was always full of life and there was never a dull moment.

Her charity work was legendary; she worked so hard raising funds for her chosen charities and was tireless in her pursuit of raising funds for charity.

In 1968 when I went to boarding school, my mother decided that the children of her friends who went to boarding school needed to do some socialising in the holidays and arranged for a dance teacher to teach us Scottish dancing and hired a badminton teacher to teach us badminton. It began with classes of five children – all proceeds that she made went to Charity. 

Years later these classes (by now there was always an end of holiday disco) reached literally thousands of children around Surrey, Kent and Sussex as they were so successful and everyone wanted their child to join these classes – I gather there were a few marriages between children who had met at these dancing classes!

My parents travelled extensively around the world, sometimes taking us with them.

Our father died suddenly twenty-four years ago and it was a very difficult time for mummy. But her forceful character and love of life helped her — also she had many, many very close and supportive friends who helped her so much.

She was a tremendous family person who had seven grandchildren, all of whom she was very proud of and saw a lot; there was Edward, William, Sophie, Lucy, Jamie, Sophie and Charlie. They all adored her. She was a terrific grandmother who always had time to chat and help her grandchildren and spend time with them. "Granny doctor" as she was known to some of them took them skiing (as she wanted to make sure all her grandchildren could ski), took them (and all of us!) on an amazing, once in a lifetime Safari in Kenya. She was a ‘hands on’ Granny who very much worked to be involved in all aspects of her grandchildren's life.

Mum was an amazing person and when she died a few weeks ago from cancer, her friends said she was brave, courageous, a fighter, a person with a great sense of humour, fun, party animal, loyal and a great inspiration.

We and all her friends will miss her very much and my brothers and I are very proud of all she achieved in her life.

The following extract from a previously published article is reproduced with permission.

One of the Queen Elizabeth Foundation’s most energetic and tireless fund raisers has been acknowledged for her outstanding contribution to the lives of young people with disabilities. Retired paediatrician Dr Louise Clowes, who has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for the charity was presented with a vase made by the residents at the development centre in Leatherhead to mark her retirement from the fund raising committee. Her fundraising began by accident and without her being aware of its potential. Dr Clowes had 3 children at boarding school and wanted to do something for them during the holidays.

Louise Clowes was born in Ireland, graduated with a MB Bch at Queen's University, Belfast. During her years there, one of her many distinctions was to have been selected by the Professor of Anatomy to sit for the Symington Medal. She came to London and studied for a further year at The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and got The DPH.

In 1955 she married Edward who was a major in the Army. They were posted to Singapore where she took a Paediatric job at the Singapore General Hospital. On the way home in the Troopship she agreed to give an anaesthetic for an appendicitis operation to a large Trooper in the Hussars - much to Edward's fury as there were several RAMC doctors on board who did not want to risk their career! The patient survived!

They returned to Surrey where she worked part time in Community Health and her husband began work in the Unit Trusts in the City. In her health work she lectured to parents and children on Drug Abuse, Smoking, and Sexually Transmitted Diseases.

She has been a Governor of the Q.E.F.D. since 1980, was Governor of Aberdour prep school, President of the Queen's University Club (now the Queen’s University Association, London – QUAL), and a founder member of the Patrons Conservative Club. She was on the fundraising committee of The London Association of the Sea Cadets, received a Surrey County Council Achievement Award and an Award from Surrey Boys Clubs.


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