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Alan Theodore Smyth

BMJ 2014; 349 doi: (Published 25 July 2014) Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g4848
  1. Rodger Charlton, Roger Shinton, Keith Shinton

Alan Theodore Smyth was born in Malvern, Worcestershire, the son of a general practitioner. After preparatory school in Malvern he was educated at Rydal School in Colwyn Bay, north Wales. After service with the Coldstream Guards he entered the medical school at the University of Birmingham in 1945. Qualification was followed by house appointments at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham. In 1953 he joined the general practice at Meriden, Warwickshire, as a trainee. He soon became a partner and moved to the practice surgery in Hampton-in-Arden. From here he worked as a kind and caring doctor for the local community for the next 34 years. In addition to the practice he worked as a clinical assistant in elderly care at Solihull Hospital and taught First Aid to British Rail employees at Coventry; later he became an examiner and was made a serving brother of the Order of St John. In Hampton he was a pillar of the village, a member of the parish council with two periods as chairman. He was for a time warden at the Church of St Mary and St Bartholomew, a chorister, and a self appointed carer for the roses in the churchyard. As a founder member of the Hampton Society, he helped maintain the character and environment of the village.

Outside medicine, his family, and the community, his main interests were railways and music. He travelled widely to photograph steam engines, documented the electrification of the West Coast Main Line as it passed through Hampton-in-Arden, and at home collected railway memorabilia. Having been born in Malvern, he naturally was devoted to the music of Edward Elgar. This appreciation extended to the music of early 20 century composers. With his wife, Ursula, he regularly attended CBSO matinee concerts held in Symphony Hall, Birmingham. He was also a founder member of the Hampton Singers.

He leaves Ursula, a fellow medical graduate whom he married in 1954; a son; two daughters; five grandchildren; and three great grandchildren.


Cite this as: BMJ 2014;349:g4848


  • Former general practitioner Hampton-in-Arden, Warwickshire (b 1926; q Birmingham 1952), died from complications of metastatic squamous cell carcinoma of the scalp on 2 April 2014.

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