Lives of the fellows

William Burgess Drayson Maile

b.5 July 1915 d.12 April 2008
MRCS LRCP(1940) MB BChir Cantab(1941) MD(1946) MRCP(1948) DMRD(1953) FRCP(1974)

William Burgess Drayson Maile (‘Drayson’) was a consultant radiologist in Portsmouth. The third generation in his family to qualify in medicine, he was born in Kingston on Thames, the son of William Charles Drayson Maile, a general practitioner. His father served with the RAMC during the First World War and was wounded at Passchendaele. His mother, Ethel Mary née Feeney, was the daughter of Peter John Carr Feeney, a bank manager. Educated at Downside School, he studied medicine at Pembroke College, Cambridge and Guy’s Hospital.

He qualified in 1941 and joined the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve, serving in India and Burma. While he was there he was involved in the attempts to control malaria with aerial DDT and used this as a basis for his MD thesis.

Demobilised in 1946 with the rank of squadron leader, he became house physician at the Victoria Hospital, Kingston on Thames and a GP from 1948 to 1951. Unable to find a consultancy as a physician due to the post-war competition, he decided to become a radiologist. From 1951 to 1955, he trained at the Manchester Royal Infirmary, the Atkinson Morley Hospital and the London Hospital. In 1956 he was appointed consultant radiologist to the Portsmouth group of hospitals. While there, he was noted for using a portable x ray set for domiciliary examinations.

In retirement he became master of the Worshipful Company of Wax Chandlers. He enjoyed fishing, sailing, philately and collecting antiques.

In 1948 he married Mary Sheila Bridget (‘Sheila’), the daughter of Air Vice Marshall T J Kelly, a medical officer with the Royal Air Force. They had three sons and one daughter. Their eldest son, Christopher, carried on the family tradition and trained in medicine at Pembroke College and Guy’s, specialising in anaesthesiology. When he died of Parkinson’s disease, Sheila, his wife of 59 years, and their children survived him, together with nine grandchildren.

RCP editor

[BMJ, 2008 336 1383]

(Volume XII, page web)

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