William Stanley PeartBMJ 2019; 367 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.l6709 (Published 29 November 2019) Cite this as: BMJ 2019;367:l6709
- Peter Sever
William Stanley Peart (“Stan”) was born in South Shields, County Durham; he was a Tynesider, whose father was a talented footballer. The family moved several times during his childhood following the career of his father, eventually to London, where his father managed Fulham Football Club. Peart transferred to King’s College School, Wimbledon, where he excelled in sciences. He was offered a place at the University of Oxford, but, because his parents could not afford the fees, he was unable to take up the offer. Serendipity, however, dictated a different career option. He had seen some pamphlets advertising the Moran scholarship to St Mary’s Hospital Medical School. Although never having considered a career in medicine, he went for interview with the dean, Charles Wilson, later to become Lord Moran. Moran’s view, widely known at the time, was that a man who excelled at sport would make a good doctor. Did Peart play rugby? On being told he played on the wing, Moran asked him how fast he could run 100 yards. He replied that he could run 100 yards in some fractions of a second faster than his actual performance—an answer that guaranteed him the scholarship, which he accepted.
He entered St Mary’s in 1938, where medical education revolutionised his life. In the preclinical school he benefited from numerous excellent teachers, many of whom were active in research. In 1939, with the outbreak of war, he was persuaded to continue his medical studies. In 1941, during his clinical course, …