b.2 February 1900 d.18 October 1965
MB ChB St And(1923) MD St And(1925) MRCP(1930) FRCP(1940)
William Steel was born at Maryfield, Dundee, to John Steel, a consulting engineer, and his wife, Catherine, daughter of George MacLennan, an estate factor in Argyllshire, and entered the Medical School of St. Andrews University from the Morgan Academy, Dundee. After holding medical and surgical posts at the Dundee Royal Infirmary, the Miller Hospital, Greenwich, and the Maida Vale Hospital for Nervous Diseases, he joined the medical service of Middlesex County Council to become deputy medical superintendent of Redhill Hospital, Edgware, in 1928, and consultant surgeon and director of Hillingdon Hospital in 1934.
In the development of his poor law institution to a large medical centre Steel showed himself an able administrator and a physician devoted to the highest standards of clinical practice. Neither the demands for extra accommodation during the war years, nor the frustration of the political and economic troubles of the years that followed them, deterred him from his aim to see the new hospital established. Unfortunately its main structure was barely above ground when illness forced his retirement in 1965. His disappointment was shared by his loyal staff who had admired his enthusiasm and his unfailing kindness.
In his undergraduate days he was a good all-round athlete and had gained a Trial Cap for the Scots Rugby team. In later years he remained a good golfer, and was justly proud when the two sons of his marriage in 1934 to Catherine, daughter of James George Jacobs, a timber merchant, of Dorset, played against each other in the Oxford and Cambridge match of 1958.
Richard R Trail
[Brit.med.J., 1965, 2, 1187-8 (p)Lancet, 1965, 2, 911-12.]
(Volume V, page 394)
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