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Biographical entry Wheeldon, Francis Tasker (1917 - 2005)

MRCS 1941; FRCS 1947; MB BS London 1942; LRCP 1941.

1 August 1917
London, UK
16 January 2005
Orthopaedic surgeon


Francis Tasker (‘Frank’) Wheeldon was a consultant orthopaedic surgeon in Plymouth. Born in north London on 1 August 1917, his father was permanent private secretary to Sir Thomas Lipton, the tea magnet. He was educated at Weston-super-Mare Grammar School and Westminster Hospital, qualifying in 1941.

Immediately after qualification he joined the RAMC and was posted to the embryonic Special Air Service in Cairo, and was subsequently medical officer to the Special Boat Squadron of the regiment, based in the Greek islands, accompanying them on many of the operations against the Axis forces. Whilst visiting an Army hospital in Palestine he met his future wife, Rhianon, a nurse, whom he married in 1946.

After the war he obtained the FRCS and trained in orthopaedics as a registrar at the Robert Jones and Agnes Hunt Hospital, Oswestry, and as a senior registrar at St George’s Hospital. He was appointed consultant orthopaedic surgeon to the Plymouth group of hospitals in 1955, practising in Mount Gould, Freedom Fields and Greenbank hospitals.

Following his retirement he was actively involved in, and a respected chairman of, many organisations, enabling him to pursue his love of architecture, antiquities and the arts, particularly 18th century English porcelain. He died on 16 January 2005, and is survived by his wife Rhianon and four sons (Peter, Hugh, Christopher and Nicholas), one of whom qualified at the Westminster Hospital. He was predeceased by two sons, John and Simon.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 2005, 330, 483].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England