Lives of the fellows

Margaret Dudley Benton

b.31 July 1921 d.?
MB ChB Birm(1943) MRCP(1945) MD(1949) FRCP(1983)

Margaret Dudley Benton was a consultant in mental handicap in West Suffolk. She was born in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, the daughter of Reginald Dudley Thompson, an auditor. She came from a medical family; her paternal grandfather was T W Thompson (1852-1896), who was educated in medicine at University College Hospital. He was surgeon to the 1st Life Guards, a GP in Potters Bar, medical officer of health to the sanitary districts of Hertfordshire and Middlesex, and an inspector in the medical department of the Local Government Board. A chapter on the natural history of infectious disease was contributed by him to Stephenson and Murphy’s Treatise on hygiene and public health (London, Churchill, 1892-4) and he published an article ‘Considerations in respect to “return” cases of scarlet fever’ in (Lancet, 1895, 146,1277-81). He was also a cousin of Sir Henry Thompson, the surgeon who was a pioneer of lithotrity and cremation.

After attending St Mary and St Anne School in Abbots Bromley, Staffs, Margaret studied medicine at Birmingham University and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. She qualified in 1943 and held junior appointments at the Birmingham General Hospital and the Queen Elizabeth. Joining the staff of the Birmingham Children’s Hospital in 1945, she served later that same year with the Red Cross in Europe. The following year she was awarded a research fellowship with the Medical Research Council and stayed with them until 1955, when she apparently took a career break to have a family.

Ten years later she moved to Australia and became senior lecturer in child health at the University of Queensland. Returning to the UK in autumn 1968, she joined the staff of South Ockendon Hospital in Essex, where she eventually became a consultant. Leaving South Ockenden in 1980, she became a consultant in mental handicap to the Bury St Edmunds Health District. She published several articles on serum proteins and enzyme activity in children.

In 1955, she married Henley Eric Benton, his father, George, had been a bailiff. They had two sons and two daughters. She enjoyed music and gardening, natural history and also the study of local history. Her husband predeceased her.

RCP editor

(Volume XII, page web)

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