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Biographical entry Whitaker, Allen James (1905 - 1976)

OBE 1967; MRCS 1930; FRCS by election 1975; MB BS London 1932; FRCGP 1968; LRCP 1930.

16 April 1905
22 February 1976
General practitioner


Allen James Whitaker, the fifth son of Dr James Smith Whitaker who was formerly a family doctor in Great Yarmouth, was born in Hendon on 16 April 1905. His father, having been the first medical secretary of the British Medical Association, became senior medical officer at the Ministry of Health on its creation in 1919 and was knighted one year before his retirement in 1932.

Allen was the seventh child in a family of eight and was educated at University College School before entering University College, London. He then went to University College Hospital where he qualified in 1930, holding resident appointments there and at Kingston General Hospital. He entered general practice in Guildford with his brother, Donald Faraday Whitaker, in 1932, and practised there for forty years. He was notable as a dedicated general practitioner and he also took a special interest in the orthopaedic department of the Royal Surrey County Hospital where he worked for thirty years.

During the second world war he served as a Surgeon-Lieutenant RNVR and was mentioned in dispatches. On demobilisation he returned to his practice where, as senior partner, he planned and developed an outstanding purpose-built and independent surgery premises in Guildford. He was active in medical politics at the local level, was Chairman of the Guildford division of the BMA in 1957 and was particularly interested in postgraduate medical education. He was a member of the South West London and Surrey Local Medical Committees and was a founder member of the Royal College of General Practitioners, later serving on its council. He thereby became the co-opted GP member of the Royal College of Surgeons Council for five years, at the end of which period he was elected to the FRCS. He had married Dr Barbara G C Clarke in 1934, herself a general practitioner, and they had three daughters two of whom are in medical practice. When he died at his home on 22 February 1976 he was survived by his wife and daughters, Annette, Diana and Rosalind.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Brit med J 1976, 1, 591; The Times 6 March 1976; The Surrey Advertiser 27 February 1976].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England