LUM, Dr Laurence Claude

1916 - 2008

Claude Lum

Laurence Claude Lum was born in Adelaide, South Australia on 24 January 1916, son of Samuel Lum, a Chinese immigrant who had made a living by importing fruit, but never mastered the English language, but his mother, Florence May ne Hill, who came from Lancashire artisan stock, ensured that this should prove no handicap to her two sons. Claude, as he was known, preparatory school years were developed at Adelaide High School, and he shone in science subjects, developing a keen interest in philosophy, relishing logical argument to the extent that he inclined towards a career in the law. However, his father steered him towards medicine as the more respectable profession and a scholarship saw him through his medical education at the Royal Adelaide Hospital, graduating in 1939. Whilst still in the Army he acquired his membership of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians in 1946, and postgraduate training in the UK, including six months at Harefield Hospital which led to membership of the London College in 1948, when he returned to Australia. The lure of Europe's antiquities, art galleries, theatres and opera were too strong and in 1952 he was back in England as a consultant chest physician living at Nayland, Suffolk. Claude Lum was a respiratory physician at Papworth Hospital, Cambridge, known particularly for his studies on hyperventilation and whilst a chest physician at Papworth developed the strategy of 'breathing retraining' to address hyperventilation. During his early years he discovered a talent for painting in watercolours and a flair for improvisation and innovation and whilst serving during World War II and painting in the Pitjantjatjara lands, Central Australia, became accustomed to the bright colours of the Australian landscape. On relocating to the United Kingdom, he perceived such a difference in the light he found that his palette of colours needed to change. An associate member of the Ipswich Art Club 1952-1974+ and exhibited from High Garth, Nayland, Suffolk in 1952 an oil 'Red Sandstone Mountain, Central Australia', in 1953 a watercolour 'The Broads, near Ludham', in 1954 'October Afternoon', in 1957 two pictures 'Stour Valley, near Wormingford' and 'Gap of Dunloe'. His next exhibits were in 1963 from 'Summerleas', Dry Drayton, Cambridgeshire when he had on show, a watercolour 'The Opal Sands'. An infrequent exhibitor he exhibited in 1974, three watercolours 'The Road to Dry Drayton', 'The Pool, Winter' and 'Under Spanish Skies'. Laurence Claude Lum latterly lived at Windmill Grange, Histon, Cambridgeshire and died in hospital on 2 December 2008, aged 92, leaving a son Edward and a daughter Claudia. A successful exhibition of his works painted in the U.K. was held in Adelaide in the mid 1950s.