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Deryck Michael Denys Lambert

BMJ 2009; 338 doi: (Published 19 May 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;338:b2032
  1. Jill Lambert

    Deryck Michael Denys Lambert, who died at home in Devon on 16 June 2008 aged 83, was a highly respected general practitioner who practised in Keighley, Yorkshire, and in Runcorn New Town. Throughout his career, he pioneered vocational training and, as an inspirational teacher and mentor, worked energetically to develop the educational dimension of general practice in the pursuit of excellent patient care.

    Deryck was born in York in 1924. Having completed his secondary education, he undertook training with Royal Air Force (RAF) flying and navigation schools between 1942 and 1944, including time spent at a navigation training school in Canada. Deryck was subsequently selected to join the legendary Pathfinder Force, part of Bomber Command. During operations over the Ruhr in September 1944, Deryck’s Lancaster was shot down in flames. Deryck and only one other member of the seven man crew survived. For the following eight months he was a prisoner of war, and in the severe cold of early 1945 he undertook the “long march.”

    Deryck was profoundly influenced by his wartime experience, especially the extraordinary interdependence, loyalty, trust, mutual respect, and comradeship of being part of a Lancaster Bomber crew. This experience informed his development both as an individual and subsequently as a doctor working in general practice. Respecting and valuing the skills and abilities of colleagues, working towards a common goal, primarily the establishment and development of excellent services for patients and the development of group practice, sometimes in the most challenging or dispiriting of circumstances, characterised his distinguished career in medicine.

    After the second world war, demobbed from the RAF, Deryck took up …

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