Top local history type of this parish, Richard Starbuck, commented on the blog this morning, having turned up this obituary to Brownhills practitioner Donald Forster. I’ve given the comment a post of it’s own as it’s so wonderful, I feared others interested in the social history of Brownhills may miss it. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Richard for his great find, and to ask if anyone has any memories of the GP, who sounded like a genuinely nice chap. Sadly, he seemed to pass away at quite an early age. A letter from Dr. Forster to the British Medical Journal is also archived online, but it’s a low quality image and is quite hard to read.
I found this obituary for Dr Forster who worked with Dr Patterson & Dr Bradford in Brownhills. Dr Forster bought Dr Patterson’s house which was also used as a doctors surgery.
Hope it’s useful
9th September 1967.
D. M. FORSTER, M.B., CH.B.
Dr. D. M. Forster, formerly in general practice in Brownhills, Staffordshire, died at his home on 21 June. He was 54.
Donald Makepeace Forster was born in Exeter on 9 April 1913, and was educated at Dudley Grammar School and at Birmingham University Medical School, graduating M.B., Ch.B. in 1940 and qualifying with the Conjoint diploma in the same year. After holding house appointments at the Queen’s Hospital, Birmingham, he entered the Indian Medical Service with the rank of captain.
In 1942 he married Miss E. M. Murdoch, and four years later joined Drs. Bradford and Patterson in practice at Brownhills. In addition to his duties as a general practitioner he became honorary divisional surgeon to the St. John Ambulance Brigade and police surgeon to the Brownhills subdivision of the Staffordshire County Constabulary. He was a founder member of the Brownhills Rotary Club and later its president in 1961-2. He was elected chairman of the Walsall Division of the British Medical Association in 1966.
Dr. Forster was a friendly and instantly likable man, whose qualities of kindness and good humour became even more evident on closer acquaintance. He had an active and inquiring mind, which he applied not only to his daily work but to all medical affairs and to his varied hobbies. In addition to being a keen fisherman he also interested himself in photography, music, and electronics, and in 1958 won first prize in the electrical section of the doctors’ hobbies exhibition by building an electronic organ.
He will be greatly missed by his patients, of whom he took such thoughtful care, never sparing his own health in order to look after theirs. His colleagues all regarded him with affection, and admired in him the rare qualities which made him a family doctor of such high calibre.
He is survived by his widow, a son recently qualified in medicine, and a daughter, to whom we extend our sympathy.
-J. P. L.