Intended for healthcare professionals


Brian Frost-Smith: physician, author, and horologist

BMJ 2020; 368 doi: (Published 28 January 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;368:m289
  1. Rebecca Wallersteiner
  1. London, UK
  1. wallersteiner{at}

Brian Frost-Smith was born in Liverpool, in the year of the general strike, to Jane and Percy, both teachers at Appleby Grammar School. At the age of 11 he developed scarlet fever, before penicillin was available to cure it, and spent nine weeks isolated in a London hospital. He always remembered the excellent care he received from the staff who looked after him.

Frost-Smith studied at the Welsh National School of Medicine in Cardiff, where he met Marjorie Ion, a fellow medical student. They both qualified and were married in 1950. They remained together until her death in November 2016. After their honeymoon, they were both appointed to junior house jobs in Walton Hospital, Liverpool. Soon afterwards, Marjorie discovered that she was expecting their first child. Frost-Smith joined the Royal Air Force to serve two years as a national service medical officer and received a home posting to Cheshire to enable him to remain near Marjorie.

His daughter, Rachel Buchanan (also a doctor), said, “After finishing his national service, my father worked as a GP assistant in Coningsby, Lincolnshire, and then as a partner in Huyton, Liverpool. However, he had always wanted to work in a rural practice, so …

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