Lives of the fellows

Eric Frankel

b.10 October 1913 d.24 November 2011
MRCS LRCP(1939) MB BS London(1939) MRCP(1942) MD(1942) FRCP(1969)

Eric Frankel was a consultant physician at Wanstead Hospital. Born in Hamburg, Germany, he was the son of Ernst, a textile merchant and his wife, Elsbeth née Forchheim, whose father, David, was an engineer. Educated at the Heinrich Hertz Gymnasium in Hamburg, he came to London in 1933 to study medicine at St George’s Hospital and London University. After qualifying in 1939 he did house jobs at Sir George’s and Acton hospitals and then moved to Oldchurch Hospital in Romford. He was working there when war was declared and he was arrested as an enemy alien and sent to prison in Canada.

After a petition was made for his release, he returned to Romford in 1940, and then moved to Wanstead Hospital for two years until 1942. Following a period back at St George’s and at the neurological clinic at the London Hospital, he enlisted in the RAMC. Enrolled as a major he served as an officer commanding medical divisions in military hospitals in Shaiba, Iraq, Alexandria and El Ballah in Egypt, and Colchester in Essex.

On demobilisation he returned to Wanstead and then, in 1948, became consultant in medicine to the North East Metropolitan Regional Board (NEMRB) which included Wanstead, Chingford, and Claybury Mental hospitals. He was also chairman of the medical board for industrial injuries in 1952 and consultant in medicine to the East London Centre of the Ministry of Social Security. At the NEMRB he was also secretary to the Advisory Committee in General Medicine from 1960 to 1968. He was the author of over 20 papers and reports published in the British Medical Journal and the Lancet.

Apart from the company of his family, he also enjoyed music, travelling, skating and swimming.

He met Constance Annie née Davis (‘Connie’) just before war broke out. She was the daughter of Alfred James, a tobacco importer. They married when he returned from his incarceration in Canada in 1942. Connie predeceased him. He died from bronchopneumonia and was survived by their two sons (who both qualified in medicine); grandchildren Conrad, Conor, Gavin, Lucy, Joe and Patrick; and great grandchildren Ellie, Eva, Louis, Jacob and Suji. His older son, Robert Miles (known as ‘Miles’), became a GP and died in 2014 and Stephen became professor of epidemiology and public health medicine at the University of Bristol.

RCP editor

[BMJ 2012 345 6773 - accessed 1 July 2015]

(Volume XII, page web)

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