Lives of the fellows

Arthur Willcox

b.27 April 1909 d.9 December 1963
TD(1950) BA Cantab(1930) MA Cantab(1934) MB BCh Cantab(1934) MD Cantab(1939) MRCS LRCP(1933) MRCP(1935) FRCP(1946)

Arthur Willcox was born in Sunderland, the second child of Frank Ainsworth Willcox and Clara, the eleventh daughter of the Rev. S. A. Herbert, rector of St. James’s, Gateshead. His father had graduated B.Sc, at Armstrong College, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, and later become M.Sc; originally a chemist working in gunpowder factories in this country and in the U.S.A., he joined the firm of J. & E. Hall, at first in Sunderland and latterly at Dartford, where the family moved when Arthur was a year old.

Arthur’s preparatory school was Seymour House, Stratton Park, Biggleswade (later at Great Brickhill), whence he went to Gresham’s School, Holt, and from there with an exhibition to Clare College, Cambridge, where he obtained a first class in part i of the natural sciences tripos, and was a member of the senior division of the Cambridge University O.T.C, in the Field Ambulance. He obtained a University scholarship at the Middlesex Hospital where he later held resident appointments up to medical registrar after a house post at Brompton Hospital. He then returned to Cambridge where he was Elmore student at the outbreak of the Second World War.

He had been commissioned into the R.A.M.C. (T.A.) as lieutenant for duty with the 2nd (1st Eastern) General Hospital (T.A.) in April 1939, and on the outbreak of the war transferred to 20 General Hospital as medical specialist, serving in France until the evacuation in 1940. After a brief period as officer commanding 31 Casualty Clearing Station he returned to duty as medical specialist and officer-in-charge of the medical division of several hospitals, serving in the Mediterranean, in North Africa and Italy from 1943 to July 1945, when he returned to the United Kingdom with the rank of lieutenant-colonel.

In 1946 he was elected to the staffs of the Middlesex and Mount Vernon Hospitals. Willcox was greatly interested in undergraduate teaching and examined for the conjoint diploma, for the M.R.C.P., and for Cambridge and Durham Universities. For some years he was in charge of the students’ health service at the Middlesex where his wisdom and unselfish kindness endeared him to undergraduates, nurses and colleagues.

He was a regular contributor to the medical journals, a member of the Thoracic Society and of the Medical Society of London (where he held office) and of the Association of Physicians of Great Britain and Ireland. He was interested in music and a competent pianist. He died suddenly on 9th December 1963, in a small house which he had recently purchased and which he was putting in order. He was unmarried.

Richard R Trail

[Brit.med.J., 1963, 2, 1595-6 (p); Lancet, 1963, 2, 1337; Times, 13, 14 Dec. 1963.]

(Volume V, page 449)

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