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Biographical entry Whapham, Eileen Mary (1907 - 2002)

MRCS and FRCS 1941; MB BS London 1932; MD 1939; MRCOG 1939; FRCOG 1954.

23 May 1907
24 June 2002
General surgeon and Obstetrician and gynaecologist


Eileen Mary Whapham was an obstetrician and gynaecologist at Southend and Rochford Hospitals. She was born in London on 23 May 1907, the daughter of Albert Whapham, a businessman, and Harrie Mary Louisa Whitney, a schoolteacher who was the daughter of a cabinet-maker. Her younger sister, Violet Harrie Gray, became a general practitioner. Eileen matriculated with honours from Dame Alice Owen's Girls School, London, and went on to the Royal Free Hospital to study medicine. She qualified with honours in surgery. After qualification, she did junior posts at the Royal Free, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson and King's Lynn Hospitals, and was obstetric and gynaecology house officer at Oldchurch Hospital, Romford.

During the war she worked in the EMS Emergency Hospital at Runwell, doing general surgery. In 1945, she was appointed as a consultant gynaecologist at the Mildmay Mission Hospital, London, and from 1946 she was a consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist to the Southend-on-Sea and Runwell Hospitals.

Described by her anaesthetist, J Alfred Lee, as a skilled and rapid operator, she was examiner and occasional lecturer at the Royal College of Midwives and medical adviser to The Nursing Mirror. She was Chairman of the Southend branch of the BMA.

Miss Whapham never married, but adopted a daughter, Doreen, who became a midwife and health visitor. Following her retirement to Petersfield, Hampshire, in 1967, she was active in the United Reformed Church, and in the care of, and activities for, handicapped children. She was vice-chairman of the East Hants Liberal Association, a district councillor and chairman of the housing committee. She died on 24 June 2002 at the age of 95 in Liss.

Sources used to compile this entry: [BMJ 2002 325 1118].

The Royal College of Surgeons of England