Townsfolk pay tribute to Sir James Paget at Great Yarmouth Minster: Video
13:36 12 January 2014
Descendants of Sir James Paget today joined the congregation of Great Yarmouth Minster for a special service to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of the pioneering surgeon.
Civic leaders from across the region and staff from the hospital in Gorleston named after him also joined in the tribute to one of the borough’s most famous sons.
Hugh Sturzaker, retired surgeon and lead governor at James Paget University Hospital (JPH), organised the civic service alongside other celebrations, including an anniversary dinner at Yarmouth Town Hall.
The medical pioneer’s great grandson Sir Julian Paget, 92, who travelled from his home in Winchester, Hampshire, said: “Yarmouth has done a marvellous job organising this service; it is a great honour and we are very proud.”
He was accompanied by his son Henry Paget, 54, from Scotland, and 19-year-old grandson Bernard.
Henry Paget reflected with a smile that none of them had followed their illustrious ancestor into the medical profession.
The service was led by the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham Jones, who said the intention was to “give thanks to a great man and a great citizen of this town and county”.
In the presence of members of the Paget family they were “connecting past history with the present day”.
He said: “James Paget entered the medical profession when it was still pretty primitive, especially in the case of surgery.
“However, he showed all the curiosity and application needed to succeed and for his medical distinction he deserves to be remembered as one of the greatest sons of Great Yarmouth.”
At a time when training was rudimentary he also emerged as a brilliant tutor to other medical students.
He said it was providential that the name of a man who was “ahead of his time” lived on in the hospital at Gorleston.
Readings were given by Professor Jerome Pereira, consultant breast surgeon at the JPH, and Julia Hunt, the hospital’s deputy director of nursing.
James Paget’s family members joined Yarmouth Mayor John Burroughs and other dignitaries in laying memorial wreaths in the church.