Martin WareSabiha Al-DabbaghFrancis William BlacklayJohn Antony BoucherJohn Halliday GarsonKenneth Michael HayRonald Sherrington OgbornSusan Marion WoodBMJ 1998; 317 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.317.7168.1323 (Published 07 November 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;317:1323
- Tony Smith,
- Dougal Swinscow
Former editor of the BMJ 1966-75(b 1915; q St Bartholomew's 1939; FRCP, MSc), d 23 September 1998. Martin was born into a family which had had a medical man in every generation since the middle of the 18th century. One ancestor he was proud of was Sir George Baker, president of the Royal College of Physicians and describer of the Derbyshire colic, due to chronic lead poisoning. After house appointments he was commissioned in the Royal Army Medical Corps and served with the Royal West African Frontier Force in Nigeria and India. Initially, Martin had wanted to be a surgeon, and had obtained the primary FRCS,but in Nigeria a colleague persuaded him to study for the MRCP, which he passed at the first attempt. In 1946 he joined the Medical Research Council as a publications officer, remaining until 1950when he was appointed assistant editor of the BMJ.During the first three years with the MRC he edited the council's annual reports, assisting also in the preparation of Medical Research in War—the MRC's report for 1939-45. When he joined the BMJ it was at once apparent that Martin's training in administration at the MRC would be anasset to an office that was rather apt to rely on the inspiration of the moment to the detriment of a more continuous orderliness. He introduced systems to make the previously ill organised knowledge and experience of the staff more readily accessible, and despite occasional symptoms of reluctance to use these arrangements they were generally welcomed. As assistant and later deputy editor Martin organised the publication of several series of refresher courses, ran the Any Questions? section, and was responsible for that section of the journal notorious for its pitfalls, the correspondence. To all these tasks he brought a thorough grasp of detail …
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