Lives of the fellows

Walter Richard May

b.5 July 1915 d.3 September 1973
MRCS LRCP(1939) MB BS Lond(1946) DCH(1947) MRCP(1950) FRCP(1973)

Walter Richard, son of Walter John May and Madge (née Littlejohn) was born into a family who were originally farmers in Devon. His father left the family tradition to qualify in dentistry (after a scholarship at the Royal Dental School) and later to qualify in medicine; of his three sons all became medically qualified.

Educated at Lancing, as were his two brothers, he was a keen sportsman, excelling in many activities rather than specialising in one. He also learned to fly, joining the RAF at the outset of hostilities, having qualified MRCS LRCP in 1939. He served seven years, attaining the rank of Squadron Leader. His service included two years in West Africa, where he developed an interest in tropical disorders. On discharge he qualified MB BS (Lond) and served as house physician at St. Mary’s Hospital. Later he was at Hillingdon Children’s Hospital, taking DCH, followed by a period at Harefield Hospital for Chest Diseases. This was to remain a life-long interest.

A tough negotiator and able administrator, he contributed greatly to the development of the Rochdale Group of Hospitals, where he was appointed in 1953 as physician.

He married in 1954, Aileen King, daughter of Alfred King of Todmorden. Of the marriage there were two boys and one girl.

JL Taylor

[Brit.med.J., 1973, 4, 175: Lancet, 1973, 2, 1038]

(Volume VI, page 332)

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