b.22 August 1881 d.30 May 1955
MB ChB Edin(1905) MD Edin(1910) MRCP(1911) FRCP(1919)
Robert Frew, who died at Chipping Campden at the age of seventy-three, was the son of William Frew, of St. John’s, Newfoundland. At Edinburgh, where he qualified, he was a house man at the Royal Infirmary and assistant to W. S. Greenfield, the professor of pathology, before doing post-graduate work in Berlin and acquiring the interest in metabolic disorders which was to colour his life work in paediatrics. He had a long devotion to Great Ormond Street Hospital, where he was medical registrar in 1910, clinical assistant to out-patients in 1913, physician to out-patients in 1919, and during World War II held the special appointment of general administrator although already past the age of retirement.
For a time he was assistant physician to the East London Hospital; from 1914 he was on the staff of King’s College Hospital, and from 1919 physician to the Lord Mayor Treloar Orthopaedic Hospital at Alton and consultant for children at Bromley Cottage Hospital. During World War I he served as a major, R.A.M.C.
Tall, erect, meticulous in dress, quick in action and speech, Frew was skilful with children, and a forthright teacher, popular with students despite the many odd and unorthodox ideas which he elaborated in his Diseases in children (1936). By his wife, Marjorie, he had one son, who was killed while serving with the R.A.F., and one daughter.
Richard R Trail
[Brit.med.J., 1955, 1, 1433-4; Lancet, 1955, 1, 1229; Times, 31 May 1955.]
(Volume V, page 142)
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