Obituaries

William Robert BurkittOliver Ormrod CowpeAelwyn GriffithsEnid Houghton (née Cyriax)George Lewis MackayJohn Stuart MartinRichard Garwood RobinsonRichard Selwyn Francis SchillingJohn Kenneth ThomsonFrederick John Dickinson (“Bill”) WebsterJean Margaret Werner

BMJ 1997; 315 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.315.7121.1545 (Published 06 December 1997) Cite this as: BMJ 1997;315:1545

William Robert Burkitt


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Former medical officer east Africa and ophthalmic practitioner Hereford Eye Hospital (b Nairobi 1916, where his father was a doctor; q Cambridge/St Bartholomew's 1941; DO; OBE), d 23 September 1997. Having seen active service in north Africa with the Royal Army Medical Corps, he returned to east Africa after the war as medical officer with the ground nuts scheme in Tanganyika. When this collapsed he worked in several other posts in the Colonial Medical Service and elsewhere before being approached by the Kenya Society for the Blind to see whether he would set up a badly needed mobile eye unit. After some training and experience he set out on his own with a small staff whom he had chosen and trained himself. They travelled to remote outposts and operated on all the cataract cases that could be mustered. It soon became a popular and valuable service, and, although William had at first financed it himself, it was later taken over by the Commonwealth Society for the Blind. For this work he was awarded the OBE, but unfortunately with independence the scheme collapsed and William and his wife returned to Britain. A deeply committed Christian and a widely read man, he was a knowledgeable bird watcher and spent much of his latter leisure years in tramping the Welsh border hills. His wife died nine months before him. [Robin Burkitt]

Oliver Ormrod Cowpe

Former consultant orthopedic surgeon Wythenshawe District General Hospital (b 1919; q Manchester 1943; FRCS), died of cancer of the prostate on 20 March 1997. He served in the Royal Army Medical Corps in Europe and the Sudan, and then returned to orthopedics at Salford. As a consultant he built up the orthopedic services at Altrincham and later at Wythenshawe, having a keen interest in the training and supervision of the department. Golf, …

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