Lives of the fellows

Derek Greenway Wraith

b.11 June 1916 d.8 April 2009
MRCS LRCP(1940) MB BCh Cantab(1942) MRCP(1948) MD(1950) FRCP(1971)

Derek Wraith was a former consultant physician in chest diseases at the Greenwich and Woolwich group of hospitals in London. He was born in Hereford, the son of Oswald Samuel Wraith, a general practitioner, and his wife, Gertrude Evelyn née Greenway, whose father, Charles, was a clergyman. They were a medical family, as his grandfather, Samuel Hope Wraith, had been a surgeon. Educated at Stowe School, he proceeded to study medicine at Cambridge University and St George’s Hospital. After qualifying in 1942, he did early house jobs at St John’s Hospital in Battersea and St Nicholas Hospital in Woolwich. Two years later he joined the RAF as a medical specialist with the rank of squadron leader.

On resuming his civilian career, he returned to St George’s as senior medical registrar in 1947, and later worked as a clinical pathologist. After a year at St Stephen’s Hospital in Fulham, he joined the chest department at St Thomas’ Hospital in 1952. He was appointed consultant physician in chest diseases to the Greenwich and Woolwich group of hospitals in 1959.

He published papers on chest disorders and was a specialist in the study of allergies – he became honorary treasurer of the British Allergy Society in 1970. With three others he wrote ‘Bird breeder’s (fancier’s) lung’ (Lancet, 1966, 287, 445-9) and, with K Maunsell and A M Cunningham, ‘Mites and house dust allergy in bronchial asthma’ (Lancet, 1968, 291, 1267-70).

In 1948, he married Joyce Eileen née Wyatt, her father, Francis Walter, was a company director. A keen photographer, he was survived by Joyce, their children, Liz and Robbie, and six grandchildren, Robert, Francesca, Ben, Merryn, Ciaran and Dominic.

RCP editor

(Volume XII, page web)

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