Lives of the fellows

Wilfred Burton Wood

b.28 December 1883 d.3 November 1943
MA Cantab(1906) BCh Cantab(1910) MB Cantab(1912) MD Cantab(1913) DPH Cantab(1920) MRCS LRCP(1908) MRCP(1923) FRCP(1940)

The specialty of diseases of the chest has had few scholar-physicians of the calibre of Burton Wood, who brought to his exposition of research work an air of learning and a knowledge of English more characteristic of the eighteenth than of the twentieth century. The son of Peter Frederick and Emily (Hodgson) Wood, he was educated at Leys School, Jesus College, Cambridge, and St. Bartholomew’s Hospital.

Long service with the R.A.M.C, in Gallipoli, Mesopotamia and the North West Frontier held back his development; he worked in the public health department at Grays, Essex, and his ability had no free expression until 1926, when his appointment as physician to the London Chest Hospital and to the consultant tuberculosis service of Essex County Council proved him to be an outstanding research worker, and a thoroughly sound clinician who studied and knew the whole patient and not only his diseased lungs.

He was a pioneer in asbestosis of the lungs (Tubercle (Edinb), 1929, 10, 353-63), and with F. G. Chandler in the use of lipiodol for bronchograms (F. G. Chandler and W. B. Wood Lipiodol in the diagnosis of thoracic disease, 1928), while no one of his day had a better knowledge of the tuberculosis of childhood.

Long illness never took the sparkle from Burton Wood; his pungent but kindly wit made him an excellent lecturer and a delightful colleague. In 1929 he married Lucy Heald, the daughter of John Boston, a well-known resident of Birkdale; they had one son and two daughters.

Richard R Trail

[Brit. J. Tuberc., 1944, 38, 95-6; Brit.med.J., 1943, 2, 661, 767; Lancet, 1943,2, 622, 815-16; Publ. Hlth (Lond.), 1943, 57, 33; Tube rcle (Edinb.), 1943, 24, 188.]

(Volume V, page 457)

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