b.10 February 1880 d.9 January 1948
BA Cantab(1901) MA MD MRCS FRCP(1920)
Born at Harrogate, the son of Charles Frederick Firth, Douglas Firth was educated at Harrow and Trinity College, Cambridge, where he took the degree of B.A. in 1901. He qualified from St. Thomas’s Hospital six years later and obtained junior appointments at St. Thomas’s, the West London Hospital and the Victoria Hospital for Children. He was elected to the honorary staffs of the Victoria Hospital, the Royal Free Hospital, the City of London Hospital for Diseases of the Chest and the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital. His service in the 1914-1918 War as a captain in the R.A.M.C. was seriously interrupted by illness. On his recovery, resigning from the Royal Free Hospital, he secured in 1919 appointment as assistant physician to King’s College Hospital and as consultant to three insurance companies ; he became full physician to King’s in 1927. He was an Examiner and Censor at the Royal College of Physicians, and examined also for the Universities of Cambridge, Glasgow and London. During the Second World War he was in charge of the E.M.S. Hospital at Leatherhead. On his retirement from King’s in 1945, he accepted the post of secretary of the Committee for Postgraduate Instruction for Demobilised Medical Officers at Cambridge, which, joined with a fellowship at Trinity Hall, provided a congenial occupation for his last few years. His experience and love of teaching, particularly at the bedside and in the outpatient department, well fitted him for tackling the problems of a younger generation. Firth’s chief outdoor recreation was walking in the Lake District. His hobby was what he called "postal history"—the collection of old colonial letters brought to England by ship and postmarked at lesser ports on the coast. He married in 1914 Violet Reeves and had one son and three daughters. He died at Cambridge.
G H Brown
[Lancet, 1948; B.M.J., 1948; Lyle, Addendum, 111; Al.Cantab., ii, 498]
(Volume IV, page 569)
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