Lives of the fellows

William Percivale Stamm

b.27 August 1909 d.10 March 1986
CBE(1960) MRCS LRCP(1932) MB BS Lond(1933) DCP(1946) DTM&H(1947) MRCP(1951) FRCP(1956) FRCPath(1963)

William Percivale Stamm, know as Bill, qualified with the Conjoint in 1932 at Guy’s Hospital, and after house appointments there he obtained his MB BS in 1933. In January 1934 he started his 33-year career in the Royal Air Force Medical Branch. Before the second world war he served in RAF hospitals in the UK and the Middle East. During the war he commanded the RAF hospital at Takoradi from 1942-43, and then served at RAF hospital Cosford until early 1947, during which time he obtained his DCP. He was then posted to the RAF Institute of Pathology and Tropical Medicine at RAF Halton, where he was to serve for the next 20 years. He was elected a Fellow of the College in 1956 and made a founder fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists in 1963. He was an honorary surgeon to HM The Queen from 1959-69, was made a CBE in 1960, and promoted to air vice-marshal in 1966. He was consultant adviser in pathology and tropical medicine to the RAF from 1952-69. From 1966-67 he was president of the Association of Clinical Pathologists, vice-president of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene from 1969-71, and an external examiner for the DTM&H at both Liverpool and London Universities. After his retirement in 1969 he became the director of the Amoebiasis Research Unit.

It was due to his efforts that the pathology and tropical medicine services of the RAF were put on to such a sure footing after the war, when new pathologists had to be trained. He was a very good manager and worked out methods of assessing workloads of laboratory technicians for establishment reviews. He introduced standardization of equipment and methods in both overseas and UK RAF hospitals, and devised systems for quality control. A true clinical pathologist, he was an acknowledged world expert on amoebiasis and a very good teacher. A man of forthright personality, he developed the pathology services for the RAF at a time of crisis and served it with flair, vigour, enterprise and loyalty throughout his long and distinguished career.

He was survived by his children, Pippy, John and Peter.

Air Marshal Sir John Donald

[Brit.med.J., 1986,292,1283,1467; Lancet, 1986,1,1047]

(Volume VIII, page 484)

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