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Biographical entry Scrase, Frank Edward (1867 - 1946)

MRCS 27 July 1893; FRCS 11 June 1896; DPH 1905; LRCP 1893.

15 September 1867
Woolloomooloo, Australia
4 February 1946
Newton Abbot, Devon
Medical Officer


Born 15 September 1867 at Woolloomooloo, Sydney, Australia, third child and second son of Samuel Scrase, a railroad engineer, and Martha Sheat, his wife. His parents came back to England while he was still an infant. He was educated at Bristol, and indentured to Mr Chandler, his future father-in-law, a chemist. But, deciding to study medicine, he entered the Bristol Medical School and continued his training at St Bartholomew's. On qualifying he set up in private practice at Hampstead, living latterly at 31 Cheyne Walk, NW4. He took an active interest in public health problems and served on the first borough council of Hampstead 1900-03, but did not seek re-election. In 1905 on the death of Herbert Littlejohn, MD, he acted temporarily as medical officer of health for the borough and in 1908 became honorary deputy MOH. He was appointed medical officer of health for Hampstead in 1912, and retired in 1932.

Scrase was first interested in the anti-tuberculosis campaign. He was instrumental in setting up the Hampstead municipal tuberculosis dispensary at Kilburn, and was active in securing a pure milk supply. Maternal and child welfare became his chief concern, and as a member of the medical sub-committee of the borough council he brought about the establishment of antenatal clinics and a system of child-health visitors. Scrase made personal investigation of the concomitant circumstances in all cases of illness and death at parturition or in early infancy. He was successful in achieving a very low infant mortality rate in his borough. Housing improvement also attracted his attention. Scrase was chairman of the metropolitan branch of the Society of Medical Officers of Health, and chairman of the Hampstead division of the British Medical Association in 1928-29.

Scrase married in 1899 Lucy Ann Chandler, daughter of the chemist to whom he had been apprenticed as a boy. There were two sons and one daughter of their marriage. After retirement he settled at 7 Forde Park, Newton Abbot, South Devon, where he died after a long illness on 4 February 1946, aged 78. He had served as chairman of the local medical war committee during the 1939-45 war. R L Knaggs, FRCS, had died at 20 Forde Park ten months earlier.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1946, 1, 258; Lancet, 1946, 1, 402; information from his daughter, Miss Marjorie L Scrase].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England