Lives of the fellows

John Alan Litchfield

b.20 March 1921 d.10 April 1980
MB ChB Birm(1944) MRCS LRCP(1944) MD(1956) MRCP(1949) FRCP(1972)

John Litchfield was born in London and educated at Bablake School, Coventry, in which city his father, SE Litchfield, held a managerial post in industry. He proceeded to the University of Birmingham in 1939, graduating in medicine there five years later. After holding house officer appointments at the General Hospital, Birmingham, he served in the Royal Navy for two years, returning as resident medical officer to the Birmingham General Hospital in 1947. After election to the membership he became a senior registrar, and conducted some excellent research on electrolytes in skeletal muscle, with special reference to uncontrolled diabetes.

In 1956 Litchfield was appointed consultant physician to the Manor and General Hospitals in Walsall and the Bromsgrove General Hospital, to each of which he gave almost a quarter of a century of devoted service. Of handsome and distinguished appearance, with great kindness and personal charm, and a superb general physician, he inevitably had a very large practice, but despite this he accepted the appointment of the University of Birmingham’s postgraduate clinical tutor at Walsall. His efforts were largely responsible for the building of a fine postgraduate centre there, and for establishing a thriving vocational training scheme and excellent facilities for the continued education of general practitioners. He served on the Walsall Area Health Authority and was chairman of the Walsall Division of the British Medical Association.

He suffered a long, complex and distressing final illness which he bore without complaint and with courage and cheerfulness. A staunch friend and a fine man, he made a valuable and unselfish contribution to medicine.

His wife, Patricia, and his son and daughter survived him, his son having graduated in medicine from the University of Birmingham in 1976.

AGW Whitfield

[Brit.med.J., 1980, 281, 153]

(Volume VII, page 339)

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