Lives of the fellows

Sidney Watson Smith

b.27 January 1882 d.15 December 1950
MB ChB Edin(1903) MD Edin(1925) MRCPE(1925) FRCPE(1930) MRCP(1928) FRCP(1938)

‡Sydney Watson Smith, the son of Col. W. Smith, J.P., and Susan Roberts Smith, was born at Dundee. He studied medicine at St. Andrews and Edinburgh Universities, and after post-graduate work in Edinburgh and London settled in general practice at Dundee in 1907. A keen Territorial he was determined to serve in the R.A.M.C, in World War I although in poor health; but he was invalided out in 1918. A year later he took a practice in Bournemouth and in 1924 decided to enter consulting work. A wide practice in Dorset, Hampshire and Wiltshire followed his appointments of honorary consulting physician and dermatologist to the Royal Victoria and West Hampshire Hospital and of honorary consultant to the Royal National Sanatorium, Bournemouth. This was due to his recognised integrity and his brilliantly simple diagnosis and treatment, the latter aided by his wide knowledge of dispensing. He was always able to impress both the general practitioner and the patient with his confidence.

Sydney Watson was a kindly man, whose generosity was shown when he acted as host at Bournemouth to those who attended the 1934 annual meeting of the B.M.A, of which he was president, and by his leadership of the Association’s first world tour to Australia in 1935. From 1925 to 1946 he wrote extensively. He made a detailed study of the severe typhoid epidemic at Bournemouth, his account being published as The 1936 outbreak of typhoid fever at Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch (1942).

In his will he bequeathed a sum of money to the College in memory of his wife, Annie Elizabeth, and himself, to be held in trust as the Watson Smith Trust.

Richard R Trail

‡ This spelling of the Christian name is found in the birth certificate although ‘Sydney’ is used consistently elsewhere.

[Brit.med.J., 1950, 2, 1450; Lancet, 1950, 2, 938.]

(Volume V, page 383)

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