Obituaries

William (“Bill”) WhimsterRichard (“Dick”) AdamsonElizabeth ArkleJames (“J J”) Murray

BMJ 1997; 314 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.314.7079.522 (Published 15 February 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;314:522

William (“Bill”) Whimster


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During the first of many workshops on medical writing in which he participated, Bill Whimster was nicknamed “Yoking Vimster” by his Finnish hosts because of his fondness for excruciating jokes and puns. He retained this boyish sense of fun, which endeared him to his friends, till the day he died, but there was a serious side, too, reflected in his lifelong devotion to the academic study of lung disease.

The son of a distinguished physician in Nottingham, Bill Whimster was educated at Sedbergh, Queens' College Cambridge, and Guy's Hospital, where he met his radiographer wife, Sybil. After house officer posts, he spent two happy years in the colonial medical service in Fiji and Niue, and on his return began training in pathology at Lewisham under the legendary Eric Allott and then at the Royal Free, where his teachers included Katharine Dormandy and Kenneth Hill. The latter arranged for him to spend two years as a lecturer in Jamaica with Gerrit Bras, and there he began to investigate the gross anatomy of lung disease. He was appointed senior lecturer in morbid anatomy at King's in 1974 and became professor and head of the department …

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