Lives of the fellows

Frederick William Buckingham Hurlburt

b.13 July 1916 d.5 June 1990
BSc Toronto(1937) MD(1940) MRCP(1948) FRCP(1950) FRCPC(1950) FACP(1964)

‘Bill’ Hurlburt was born in Stratford, Ontario, Canada, during the first world war while his father Frederick H Hurlburt, a medical practitioner, was overseas in the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps. His mother, Esther Beatrix née Buckingham, had returned to her family home in Stratford from North Battleford, Saskatchewan, where Bills father had been in general practice. After the war the family went back to North Battleford, where Bill spent his early years.

He graduated from the University of Saskatchewan with the BSc degree and completed his medical education at the University of Toronto. During his internship training at the Toronto General Hospital he met Mary Aileen (Betty) Halstead. They were married in 1943 and had five children; three sons and two daughters.

In 1942 Bill enlisted in the RCAMC and shortly afterwards was seconded to the RAMC. After a brief period in England he saw service in North Africa where he joined the 66th British Field Hospital in Cairo, under the direction of Max Rosenheim, later Lord Rosenheim [Munk’s Roll, Vol.VI, p.394]. Later, Bill was to say that he learned more medicine at that time than at any other time in his life. He subsequently served with another field hospital in the Gaza Strip.

He returned to Canada in November 1943, on compassionate leave because of the death of his father. It was during this leave that he and Betty were married, then Bill returned to England to join a field dressing station which landed in Normandy on D-day + 5. He served during the Battle of the Bulge and at Nijmegen. After demobilization in 1945 he again returned to Canada and the Toronto General Hospital.

Following the award of a British Council fellowship he came to the UK, with Betty and their new born son John, for postgraduate study at The London Hospital. During this time he obtained his membership of the College.

Back in Canada in 1949, after a brief stay in Toronto, he moved - with Betty and their first two children - to Vancouver, British Columbia, where he joined the staff of St Paul’s Hospital and in 1962 he was appointed head of the department of medicine. He was also appointed clinical assistant professor in the department of medicine at the University of British Columbia, becoming a full clinical professor in 1972.

Under his leadership the department developed rapidly both in teaching and research; especially in cardiology, respiratory disease, gastroenterology, rheumatic disease and endocrinolgy. In his consulting practice he had an interest in general internal medicine but was particularly concerned with rheumatic diseases. He continued as head of department until 1978 when he was appointed associate dean in charge of residency training in the faculty of medicine at UBC.

He was a fellow of the American College of Physicians and governor of the section for British Columbia for four years. He was also a Fellow of the London and Canadian Colleges. He was president of the North Pacific Society of Internal Medicine and of the Canadian Rheumatism Association, and he delivered the Osier address to the Vancouver Medical Association in 1973.

Outside medicine, Bill enjoyed sailing with Betty in the waters of the west coast of British Columbia and Vancouver Island. The family spent the summers at their cottage on Boyer Island.

Sadly, Betty died in July 1984, in the 41st year of their marriage. In August 1986, Bill married Beverley Ann Neal. After retirement he enjoyed woodworking and gardening at their home in West Vancouver.

R B Kerr

(Volume IX, page 256)

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