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Biographical entry Wood, William Charrington (1870 - 1958)

MRCS 8 February 1894; FRCS 8 June 1899; LRCP 1894; MB London 1896; MD 1897.

8 December 1870
17 May 1958
General practitioner


Born on 8 December 1870 at Marlborough where his father was manager of the Bank, he followed his three elder brothers to Marlborough College and St Mary's Hospital, which he entered with a scholarship. He served as house surgeon, house physician, and resident obstetric officer, and intended to become a surgeon. But in 1899 when he had just taken the Fellowship his elder brother Edmund fell ill, who was in general practice at Penshurst, Kent. He went to take his brother's place temporarily but, as Edmund Wood became a chronic invalid, he took over the practice and remained at Penshurst for the whole of his life. He became a typical country doctor of the best kind, the friend of his patients in every rank and a centre of the village life. He was a churchwarden for twenty-four years and vice-chairman of the parish council.

During the war of 1914-18 he served at the VAD Hospital at Nevill Park, Tunbridge Wells and also took a leading part in first-aid training, for which services he was made an honorary life member of the British Red Cross Society. He was also awarded the Belgian medal for services to Belgian wounded soldiers and civilian refugees. During the war of 1939-45, when he was about 70, he served as medical officer to the local Home Guard.

Wood married in 1901 Ethel Lucy Blackburn, who died in 1946. He died in Westminster Hospital on 17 May 1958 aged 87, survived by his son and daughter. A memorial service was held in Penshurst Church on 23 May 1958.

He had enjoyed playing the organ and piano, and gardening; in earlier years he was an active hill walker and climber. At the age of 83 he took up basket-making to sell his baskets in aid of the parish church funds.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1958, 1, 1423].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England