Intended for healthcare professionals


Archibald Percy Norman

BMJ 2017; 356 doi: (Published 19 January 2017) Cite this as: BMJ 2017;356:j312
  1. Geoff Watts
  1. London
  1. geoff{at}

Specialist in cystic fibrosis and co-founder of the CF Trust

Paediatrician Archie Norman spent most of his career helping children with cystic fibrosis, a then newly described condition. He worked long hours and earned a reputation for good organisation, frugality, and an insistence on the highest of standards. But for all their rigour and self discipline, those years were tranquil when compared with what must have been among the formative experiences of his life: service in the Royal Army Medical Corps during the second world war.

War service

On joining the armed services as a captain in 1940, Norman was posted to Cyprus, then to Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria. He spent 1942 in Cairo and then alongside troops fighting in the Western Desert. With a shrapnel wound in his leg, he was unable to evacuate his dressing station fully before a German advance overran it. He spent the rest of the war as a prisoner, using his medical skills when allowed. Most of the time was spent in Italy, but …

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