Lives of the fellows

Ronald Wilson Lass

b.9 February 1914 d.17 March 1987
MRCS LRCP(1938) MRCP(1944) FRCP(1973) LMCC(1979)

Ronald Lass was born in London and died in Canada. He first entered dental school, but later studied medicine and qualified at University College Hospital, London, in 1938. On the outbreak of the second world war he joined the Royal Air Force medical service and was stationed in Iraq. During this time he met and married Anne Fisher, who was a nursing sister at the camp. On demobilization he joined a general practice in Maidstone, at the same time being appointed an honorary assistant physician to the West Kent Hospital, Maidstone. With the advent of the National Health Service he resigned from general practice and became consultant physician to the Mid-Kent group.

In 1966 Ronald took up the post of medical specialist to a hospital in Tripoli, Libya. After the revolution he had to leave Libya and returned to England. He was appointed consultant physician to the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary, Wigan, in 1971. Ronald was now in his 50’s but was very quickly integrated into the hospital and made a considerable impact. Soon after his arrival he became tutor to the undergraduate students from Manchester University and made a success of this venture. He was very popular with the students and never at a loss for medical anecdotes from his past wide experience. He also became postgraduate tutor, a post he again tackled with considerable enthusiasm, and was both respected and liked by all the doctors in the area.

When he eventually retired from the NHS Ronald was very reluctant to give up medicine and, at this stage, he studied for the Canadian LMCC examination, was successful, and decided to emigrate to Canada where his daughter Rowena was working. He subsequently worked in a district hospital in Ontario.

Though Ronald only spent a short period of his professional life in Wigan he made a valuable contribution and will be remembered with affection by his colleagues and patients. He had an infectious enthusiasm which characterized his professional and social life and made him an ideal colleague. His clinical acumen was outstanding and his astute diagnoses, and endless repertoire of medical anecdotes, were based on his wide experience and love of the art of medicine.

His main interest outside medicine would sometimes result in his absence, and trying to find Ronald on a Friday afternoon was often difficult - he had gone fishing.

Ronald was a lifelong inveterate cigarette smoker and it came as no surprise to his former colleagues that he eventually succumbed to carcinoma of the bronchus.

BJ Fairhurst

[Brit.med.J., 1987,294,1698]

(Volume VIII, page 270)

<< Back to List