Lives of the fellows

Robert Armstrong Craig

b.23 June 1918 d.3 August 1994
BSc Lond(1939) MRCS LRCP(1941) MB BS(1941) MRCP(1947) MD(1949) FRCP(1970)

Robert Armstrong Craig was the son of Archibald Hay Craig, a chartered accountant, and his wife Lilian (née Armstrong). He was born at Lichfield, Staffordshire, educated at Epsom College, and entered Guy's Hospital Medical School to study medicine. After resident posts at Guy’s, he joined the RAMC and served in Ghana and India before demobilization in 1947. Back in civilian life, his postgraduate studies - which were mainly at the ; Brompton Hospital - were interrupted for eight months when he contracted tuberculosis. He returned to the Brompton in 1949 as assistant RMO, and was also assistant chest physician at the Willesden Chest Clinic. In 1950 he began his definitive career as a chest physician in Bristol, where he remained for the rest of his life.

He was based at the Central Clinic, Tower Hill, where he was faced with an enormous clinical load as he helped to marshal the forces which defeated tuberculosis locally in the next decade. Craig’s organizational skills and his innovative ideas for out-patient supervision of tuberculous patients taking chemotherapy were important factors in the defeat of his old enemy. Unfortunately his own tuberculosis flared up in 1953 and required a full year of treatment at the Brompton. By 1960 the scene had completely changed and Craig’s clinical duties at Southmead Hospital, to which he had been appointed in 1950 as a general chest physician, assumed greater importance. Always primarily a clinician, Craig’s interest switched to asthma. His ability as an administrator and committee man was recognized by his appointment to the Southmead management team, on which he served with distinction.

He married Jean, daughter of Sir George Simpson FRS, and they enjoyed a happy life together in which their three children, gardening, photography and dog training all played a part.

J M Naish


(Volume X, page 82)

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