Lives of the fellows

William Davidson Wallace

b.3 July 1909 d.16 January 1984
MB ChB Sheff(1934) MSc(1937) MRCP(1944) FRCP(1967)

William Wallace was born at Horncliffe, Northumberland, the son of James Wallace a Scottish minister of the Presbyterian Church of England. He was educated at Firth Park Grammar School, Sheffield, and Sheffield University; and the Royal Hospital and Royal Infirmary. Sheffield. After house appointments at Sheffield and Leicester, he joined the RAMC in 1940 and was posted first to India and then to Burma. He served until 1945, but in spite of the interruption to his career, and his wartime commitments, he undertook a correspondence course for the membership examination of the College and obtained it in 1944. On demobilization he was appointed an honorary physician to the Royal Salop Infirmary in 1947, and later became consultant physician to the Shrewsbury Group of Hospitals. He moved to Copthorne Hospital in 1953 and worked there until his retirement. His brother-in-law T E Gumpert, and his nephew, E J W Gumpert, were also Fellows of the College.

To Bill, medicine was a way of life. His workload was enormous and his free time sparse. At Shrewsbury he rose early, often between 6am and 7am and worked until 6pm or 7pm, came home for dinner, and then went out and worked until 10pm or later. An ‘evening’ of relaxation would then follow, and when the rest of the household had retired to bed he would happily sit down to 2-3 hours’ reading, often about medical matters. His capacity for sustained work was enormous, but in spite of his workload he never appeared rushed or harassed, and never failed to give every patient his undivided attention, kindness and patience.

He married Jean Margaret Coates in 1940, and they had four children. He was essentially a private man, with an able and enquiring mind and a delightfully dry sense of humour. The time that was not devoted to medicine was reserved for his wife and family, and their close friends. He enjoyed lawn tennis and competed regularly with friends. His other interests were snooker and hill walking, and in later years his holidays were based on travel and caravanning.

PL Boardman
Sir Gordon Wolstenholme
V Luniewska

(Volume VIII, page 521)

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