George Adam Newsholme

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 14 February 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e1048
  1. Dorothy Davies

George was the son of Henry Newsholme, medical officer of health for Birmingham and professor of public health at the university. His grandfather, Sir Arthur Newsholme, had been one of the pioneers of public health.

Having qualified as an exhibitioner at Cambridge, George completed his clinical medicine in Birmingham and intended to train as a physician. He served in the Royal Army Medical Corps in Germany during and after the war and obtained his membership of the Ropyal College of Physicians at this time, studying for it during the bitterly cold Hamburg winter of 1946-47. On his return he worked as a registrar on the medical professorial unit at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham and gained his MD doing research on the uptake of radioactive material by the thyroid gland. As a senior registrar at the QE he agreed, unusually for the time, to go to the Royal Hospital, Wolverhampton, to widen his experience. It was there that he caught tuberculosis which was nearly fatal. On returning to work a year later he was given a more junior job. Competition for consultant posts was fierce as many doctors had returned from war service and were several years ahead of him. He decided at this time to move into radiotherapy. He obtained his Diploma in Medical Radio-Therapy in 1957 and the following year was appointed consultant radiotherapist to United Birmingham Hospitals. He realised from the beginning that treating cancer needed more than just the use of radiotherapy and was in the forefront of the development of a more comprehensive service for treating patients with cancer in the Midlands. He was, above all, a good physician.

He was a gentle, unpretentious man with a wide understanding of human nature and a wonderful ability to give hope to his patients.

He leaves a wife, Rosemary; three children; and seven grandchildren.


Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e1048


  • Former consultant radiotherapist Birmingham (b 1921; q Cambridge 1945; MD, FRCP, FRCR), d 1 September 2011.