Lives of the fellows

Thomas Arthur Grimson

b.7 August 1920 d.3 March 2008
MB BS Lond(1943) MRCP(1945) MD(1949) FRCP(1970)

Thomas Arthur Grimson (‘Tommy’) was a consultant physician in Durham. Born in Wandsworth, London, he was the son of Thomas Grimson, a GP, and his wife, Grace Hebzibar Mary Née Davis, whose father, Arthur, was a stationer and Freeman of the City of London. Educated at Epsom College, he studied medicine at London University and St Bartholomew’s Hospital. After qualifying in 1943, he did house jobs at Barts where he was involved in research into gas gangrene and the use of penicillin in the soldiers injured in the D Day landings.

In 1946 he began his National Service and served as a medical specialist with the RAF with the rank of squadron leader. On demobilisation in 1948 he joined the staff of the Royal Victoria Hospital, Newcastle upon Tyne, as a senior medical officer and, following that, resident medical officer. In 1952 he joined the medical unit of the University of Durham as a first assistant and, the next year, was appointed a consultant physician to the Durham group of hospitals, remaining there until his retirement in 1985.

He took on the additional responsibility of running the Infectious Diseases Hospital at Chester-le-Street and the Regional Smallpox Hospital at Langley Park in 1966 and, in 1968, was appointed advisor on smallpox to the Ministry of Health. Also a member of the management committee of the Durham Miners’ Rehabilitation Centre at Chester-le-Street, he was a member (and vice-chairman in 1968) of the Winterton Hospital management committee. Papers published by him included research on penicillin, endocrine disorders and therapeutics.

A keen musician, he played the double bass and the viola well but admitted that his piano playing was ‘to my satisfaction only’. He also enjoyed fly fishing and spent time learning French to support his many caravanning holidays on the continent.

In 1945 he married Elizabeth June née Geldard, whose father Cyril John was a solicitor. Known as ‘June’, she survived him when he died from heart failure, together with a son and two daughters, one son having predeceased him.

RCP editor

[BMJ 2009 338 266]

(Volume XII, page web)

<< Back to List