Lives of the fellows

Arthur Stanley (Sir) Woodwark

b.1875 d.11 May 1945
CBE(1919) CMG(1918) MB BS Lond(1906) MD MRCS FRCP(1920) JP DL

Stanley Woodwark, the third son of George S. Woodwark of King’s Lynn, went to school at Felsted and qualified as a doctor at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in 1902. He then made a voyage as a ship’s surgeon and filled resident posts at the Royal Free Hospital. After a short period in general practice, he decided to become a consultant, and, taking the M.B, B.S, degrees in 1906, obtained junior appointments at the Great Northern Central Hospital, the Hospital for Sick Children, St. Bartholomew’s and King’s College Hospital, and honorary appointments at the Throat Hospital, Golden Square, and the Royal Waterloo Hospital for Women and Children. He distinguished himself in the 1914-1918 War, winning rapid promotion to the rank of colonel, and holding the positions of D.A.D.M.S., London District, deputy assistant director-general at the War Office, and consulting physician to Queen Alexandra’s Military Hospital; he received the C.M.G. in 1918 and the C.B.E. in 1919.

Woodwark’s chance to prove himself in civilian life came in 1919 with his appointment as assistant physician to the Westminster Hospital and dean of its Medical School. His talent for organising was apparent in the steady rise of the School’s fortunes during his tenure of this second office, which ended in 1934. Administration and committee work were more suited to Woodwark’s orderly mind than clinical medicine, although he acquired a considerable practice. Writing, too, had little appeal for him, and his early Manual of Medicine (1912), which reached a fourth edition, was designed primarily to meet the requirements of examinations. Insurance work was more to his taste and he enjoyed giving evidence as a medical witness in compensation cases. In court he was aided by his impressive appearance — his erect, immaculate figure, six foot four inches in height, with massive head and dignified, courtly expression — and by his eloquence and histrionic ability, which made him much in demand as a public speaker and as an official of societies. Such duties were congenial to Woodwark who relished both the formality of public occasions and the companionship of his fellow men; and among the offices that he accepted were the mastership of the Society of Apothecaries, the Barber-Surgeons’ Company and the Turners’ Company, and the presidency of the Royal Institute of Public Health and Hygiene. He was knighted in 1932. He married in 1911 Hilda, daughter of Sir Richard Robinson, and had three sons and a daughter.

G H Brown

[Lancet, 1945; B.M.J., 1945; Westminster Hospital Gazette, July-Sept. 1945, 100]

(Volume IV, page 572)

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