Born in North London, Hewer qualified at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in 1918 following the family tradition set by his father, grandfather and great uncle. He began his anaesthetic career in the Royal Army Medical Corps before returning to Barts where he was appointed to the staff in late 1919.
His first major interest was in thyroid surgery. Working with Dunhill, he perfected techniques and introduced special face masks. Hewer’s aim at all times was to increase safety in anaesthesia. His innumerable contributions to anaesthesia practice include the use of copper as a preservative for ether, a special cardiac resuscitation needle and in 1941 the introduction of trichloroethylene.
In 1923 he wrote the first mono-specialist textbook of anaesthesia for paediatrics and, in subsequent years, he published prolifically. The series Recent Advances in Anaesthesia first appeared in 1932 and continued under his editorship for fifty years. He was a founder member of the Association of Anaesthetists and also the first Editor of Anaesthesia in 1945, a position which he held for twenty years.
Hewer received many honours. Still publishing in the 1970s, Hewer had a long and happy retirement until his death aged 90.