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Biographical entry Haine, Francis Henry (1908 - 2000)

MRCS and FRCS 1954; LRCS Edinburgh 1936; FRCPS Glasgow 1936; LRCP 1936.

13 November 1908
Little Wolford, Oxfordshire
21 April 2000
General practitioner and General surgeon


Frank Haine was born in Little Wolford, Oxfordshire, on 13 November 1909, the eldest of four boys. His father, Robert John Haine, was a farmer who had moved from Somerset to the north Cotswolds after the death of his first wife. His mother, Marianne Baines Horne, was the daughter of a corn merchant and became a magistrate. He grew up on the farm, and, when once asked what was the greatest of modern inventions replied unhesitatingly "Wellington boots", having unhappy boyhood memories of hours standing in the fields in soaking leather boots when he was sent to scare the birds. He was educated at King Edward VI Grammar School, Stratford upon Avon, the school that Shakespeare attended. There he won the Victor Maslin prize for religious knowledge and gained third class honours in the School Certificate.

He left school at 16 and was apprenticed to a local chemist for three years, but then decided to train as a doctor in order to become a medical missionary in China. He studied medicine in Edinburgh - cycling there in summer (it took four days). In winter, he went by tramp steamer from London, and it was on one of these trips that he met Jean Cuthbertson, a fellow medical student, who later became his wife in 1939. He qualified in 1936 with a gold medal for materia medica.

He completed junior posts in Wakefield and Hammersmith, where he was house surgeon to A K Henry, and was much influenced by Grey Turner. A succession of registrar posts followed, in Cheltenham, Gloucester, Ipswich and Bournemouth, prior to joining the RAMC in 1940. Frank was captured in the desert in 1941 whilst treating the wounded and was a prisoner of war for three and a half years. When liberated, he continued to serve as medical officer to a civilian internment camp in Austria until he was repatriated in 1945.

After the war, he worked in hospitals in Hastings, Cheltenham, Gloucester and Tilbury, passing the FRCS in 1954. By then Jean was practicing as a GP in the Cotswolds and surgical posts within reach of home were difficult to find. He went into partnership with Clark Nicholson at Moreton in Marsh, until Nicholson retired, when Frank and Jean merged their practices until their own retirement in 1980. They were both very concerned about the large number of lonely old people in the area, and this inspired them to start an Over 60 Club, which they ran for 20 years. They also founded the Cotswold Villages Old People's Housing Association, in order to build small dwellings for elderly people in the centre of the village where they lived.

He had many interests, among them beekeeping, and he had a small herd of Hereford cattle, for which he cut hay in the traditional way with a scythe. He had a good bass voice and was a member of the Blockley Choral Society for many years. He and his wife had one son and two daughters, one of whom was called Theresa. Jean developed dementia in the early 1990s and this overshadowed the last few years of his life. He died of bronchopneumonia on 21 April 2000.

Sources used to compile this entry: [Information from Theresa Haine].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England