World-leading pathologist who captained Olympic fencing team gets Islington people’s plaque
PUBLISHED: 14:13 08 October 2014 | UPDATED: 14:13 08 October 2014
A world-leading pathologist who captained the British Olympic fencing team has become the latest figure to be immortalised in green on one of the borough’s streets.
Dr Gordon Signy, who died in 1972, was one of three of the borough’s famous sons and daughters chosen by Islington residents in a vote last year and had a plaque erected outside his former home in Alwyne Road in the presence of his family on Thursday.
Dr Signy helped found the speciality of haematology, played a key role in developing the investigation and successful treatment of blood diseases, established the Journal of Clinical Pathology and helped found the Royal College of Pathologists.
After his death the World Association of Pathology Societies began a fellowship in his honour, to enable young pathologists to visit other countries and learn new skills as part of their training.
He had an illustrious amateur sporting career, captaining the British fencing team at the Olympic Games in 1964 and 1968.
The green plaque was put up by his children Adam, Mark, Michael and Ruth at the address where Dr Signy lived from 1955 to his death at the age of 67.
Cllr Janet Burgess, executive member for health and wellbeing at Islington Council, said: “We’re very proud to unveil an Islington People’s Plaque to commemorate Dr Gordon Signy.
“He was a pivotal figure in fighting blood disease and residents have recognised him for his major contributions to the medicine.
“That he also managed to be an Olympic fencing captain as well is all the more impressive - he is a worthy winner of a green plaque.”
This year’s People’s Plaques winners – Mary Tealby, Nina Bawden and the North London Synagogue – will all have their plaques unveiled in 2015.