Lives of the fellows

Raymond Basil Franks

b.28 July 1917 d.19 October 1981
MRCS LRCP(1941) MA MB BChir Cantab(1941) MRCP(1947) FRCP

Raymond Franks was a very astute and competent physician whose talents were never fully recognized. Soon after qualifying he joined the RAMC, serving from 1942-46, first as a junior company commander with a field ambulance and later as a regimental medical officer with infantry and armoured battalions. He also saw brief service in India and Egypt. On demobilization he was caught up in the senior registrar bottleneck of the 1950s and went to St Helier Hospital, Carshalton. It was about that time that he developed diabetes, the complications of which were to dog him for the rest of his life. He decided that he would be wise to opt for geriatrics, rather than the physically arduous life of a general physician, and in this capacity he went to Worthing in 1961 as a consultant physician in geriatric medicine to Worthing Health District and West Sussex County Council.

Raymond was a very good organizer and a very valuable member of hospital committees. He was adept at making trenchant criticism without giving offence. He also lent his skill to various charitable organizations, particularly to St Barnabas Terminal Home, which was one of the earliest institutions of its kind.

In 1952 he married Ulla Margareta Douhan, daughter of Emil Douhan, and they had four children: two sons and two daughters. His family occupied much of his attention. During the winter he enjoyed shooting and he was a very keen and accurate shot. He also enjoyed fly-fishing and foreign travel. Sadly, he gave up playing the piano -which he did by ear, with great skill and entertainment. In spite of retinopathy, a stroke, and increasing arterial disease in his legs which led to double amputation, he remained remarkably resilient and continued to maintain his interests.

Raymond was a man of many acquaintances but few friends. Nevertheless, he was always generous in his advice, time and expertise, when it was required.

JFP Skrimshire
Sir Gordon Wolstenholme

(Volume VIII, page 168)

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