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Biographical entry Spreat, Frank Arthur (1861 - 1934)

MRCS 30 July 1884; FRCS 1 June 1905; DPH RCPS 1896; LSA 1887.

9 June 1861
24 April 1934
General surgeon and Medical Officer


Born in London on 9 June 1861, the sixth child and fourth son of John Henry Spreat, jeweller, and Harriet Jones, his wife. He was educated at Aldenham School until he entered St Bartholomew's Hospital. He acted for a time as resident medical officer at the Metropolitan Hospital before settling at Finchley, where he practised during the rest of his life. Here he became medical officer of health for Friern Barnet, was medical officer to the Maternity and Child Welfare service at Friern Barnet of the Middlesex County Council, medical officer to the Post Office, and medical officer and public vaccinator to the Barnet 4th district. When the Finchley Memorial Hospital was founded as the Finchley Cottage Hospital he qualified himself to act as surgeon by obtaining the diploma of FRCS, no easy task for a man of forty in a large and prosperous practice. From that time onwards for many years he made a practice of attending one of the large general hospitals on one day in each week, and thus acted at different times as clinical assistant in the outpatient department, nose and throat, and assistant medical officer in the electrical department at St Bartholomew's Hospital, and clinical assistant at the Royal London Ophthalmic Hospital, Moorfields.

He married on 9 July 1890 Edith Backhouse Hulke, a member of the Hulke family who have practised at Deal for many generations. She survived him with a son and daughter, a second son having been killed in action during the first world war. He died on 24 April 1934, and Mrs Spreat died at Whetstone, London, N on 23 June 1948. Spreat was a general practitioner of a very high type. Absolutely honest in thought, a loyal friend, and a good counsellor, he watched the neighbourhood where he practised grow from a village to a huge suburb of London. The increasing population led to an increasing number of doctors. His example and precept kept them together, formed them into a family circle, and maintained the high tradition of his own ideals.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Information given by his son, Shirley H Spreat; personal knowledge; Brit med J 1934, 1, 876].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England