Lives of the fellows

Arnold Winkelried William Belmont Woods

b.4 May 1915 d.13 November 1986
BA Oxon(1937) BM BCh(1940) MA(1940) MRCP(1943) FRCP(1965)

Arnold Woods was the son of W W Woods, pathologist at the London Hospital, and a nephew of Sir Robert Stanton Woods [Munk's Roll, Vol.V, p.458]. He was educated at Kings College School, Wimbledon (where he was later a governor until his death), Exeter College, Oxford, and the London Hospital. He graduated in 1940 and obtained his membership of the College in 1943. From 1943-45 he was EMS physician at the Connaught Hospital, Walthamstow, and later served in the RAMC in India and East Africa, reaching the rank of lieutenant colonel and becoming adviser in medicine to East Africa Command from 1946-47. On demobilization and return to England he was appointed senior registrar at the National Heart Hospital and St George’s Hospital, prior to his appointment as consultant physician to Epsom District Hospital in 1955. He held this post until 1980, and was also honorary consultant physician to Epsom College.

Arnold Woods was among the most kind and generous of men. He was a man of absolute integrity. His opinion, whether as a physician or a member of committee was widely sought and universally respected. During his 25 years as a consultant he guided the development of his hospital from little more than a poor-law infirmary to a modern district general hospital. This was undertaken with total altruism.

His junior collleagues, whether houseman, registrar or consultant, came to rely very much on the gentle yet unerringly sound advice of Arnold Woods. He was greatly in demand for committee service, be it at local or regional level, and after his retirement he continued to serve his district well as a member of the local health authority. From 1971-75 he was an examiner for the College.

Arnold’s interests outside medicine included languages, travel and cricket. His Norwegian ancestry gave him the ability to master foreign tongues and he enjoyed travelling which gave him the opportunity to put his mastery in languages to good use. He had a lifelong love of cricket and was no mean player himself. ‘Many who shared his companionship on the field with the "Jesters", or in the Members Enclosure at Lords and the Oval, will miss his bright-eyed enthusiasm, his sportsmanship and sense of fun...’ [extract from a tribute offered at his funeral.]

In 1948 Arnold married Marthe Emilie Isely, ‘Ninette’, daughter of a Salvation Army officer, and they had one son. The marriage was an exceptionally happy one and in his home life Arnold was complete. Their son is now a surgeon.

GH Robb

[Brit.med.J., 1987,294,188-9]

(Volume VIII, page 553)

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