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Frank Ewart Webb

BMJ 2011; 342 doi: (Published 18 January 2011) Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d320
  1. Tim Webb

Frank Ewart Webb was born at the family home in Dudley. His father was a boilerman but enrolled his son at Dudley Grammar School from the age of 8. From there at 17 Frank won a scholarship to attend medical school in Birmingham, his studies beginning in the same month that Hitler invaded Russia and the Eighth Army began to retake North Africa.

After D-Day, as a clinical student, he manned a field hospital near Wolverhampton that received incoming wounded soldiers from the beaches of Normandy, who were sent by rail from southern coastal ports.

He would have joined the NHS in its first year had he not had to complete national service, with the Royal Irish Fusiliers in Northern Ireland, a period of tedium and socialising.

On leaving the army in 1949, he became a partner in general practice in an area that was multicultural many decades before that term was coined. With doctors having to be available at all hours throughout the week, the newly married junior partner had to live above the surgery.

His lifelong passion was clinical medicine, his challenge to bring high quality healthcare to an area that had not known it before the NHS and by so doing improving people’s chances of a achieving a better life.

After retirement in 1989, he travelled to over 80 countries with his wife, Wendy, who survives him, as do their three children and 10 grandchildren, the youngest of whom he nearly beat at table tennis at the diamond wedding celebrations three months before his death.


Cite this as: BMJ 2011;342:d320


  • Former general practitioner Sparkhill, Birmingham (b 1924; q Birmingham 1946), died from cerebrovascular disease on 1 June 2010.

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