Lives of the fellows

Eric Waddington

b.6 December 1918 d.12 September 1993
MRCS LRCP(1943) MB BS Lond(1943) MRCP(1948) MD(1949) FRCP(1965)

Affectionately known as ‘E W’, Eric Waddington was born in Settle in Yorkshire, the son of a well known Yorkshire landscape artist, William Hartley Waddington, and a teacher mother, Muriel née Marlor. He was educated at Giggleswick School in Yorkshire and the University of London. Soon after qualifying at St Thomas’ Hospital in 1943, during the second world war, he joined the Friends’ Ambulance Unit in China and Burma as a medical officer and served in the Far East with distinction. He met his wife, Peggy, daughter of Joseph James Toop, a missionary in China, when they were both working in the mobile surgical team. After the war, and indeed right up to his death, he maintained close contact with the activities of the Society of Friends and eventually became an elder. A strong interest in China, and love of Chinese food, were the other legacies of his sojourn in the Far East.

On return to the UK he opted to train in dermatology at the foremost centre for skin diseases at that time - his old medical school at St Thomas', where he became a protege of the renowned G B Dowling [Munk’s Roll, Vol.VII, p.163]. ‘E W' became a senior registrar at St Thomas’ and in 1953 he was appointed as a consultant to the United Cardiff Hospitals. He remained a stalwart figure in Welsh dermatology until retiring in 1984.

Eric Waddington was a much respected clinician and was well known for his many careful clinical studies. He was intimately involved with the outbreak of smallpox in South Wales and its containment in the early 1960’s, and was a member of an expert panel for advice on the management of this dreadful disorder. His careful detective work on swimming pool granuloma in South Wales, in which the source of the mycobacterial infection was tracked down to a swimming pool in the neighbouring Penarth, will long be remembered. He was a thoughtful and skillful teacher, greatly appreciated by both undergraduate students and postgraduates. In 1960 he was appointed to the medical appeals tribunal, where he developed an enviable reputation for wisdom and fairness.

Eric Waddington remained a bluff Yorkshireman. His friendliness and kindness to all around him made him very popular with patients and staff at all levels. He made sure that his busy professional life allowed time for outside interests. He was a keen golfer - he won the BAD Dowling McGaw cup on three occasions - and he enjoyed photography and gardening. Above all, he was a family man and his final years, although often physically uncomfortable from ill health, were made a joy to him by his wife Peggy, his children Kate and David and their families.

R Marks

[Brit.med.J., 1994,308,198]

(Volume IX, page 545)

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