Allergy pioneer Dr. William Frankland dies at age 108


William Frankland in 2015

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Dr. William Frankland, a British immunologist who transformed the world’s understanding of allergies, died at the age of 108.

His pioneering work included developing the idea of ​​a pollen count to help people with hay fever.

Dr. Frankland, whose medical career spanned 70 years, was known as “the grandfather of allergy”.

A British army doctor during the Second World War, he spent three and a half years in Japanese POW camps.

Historian Dan Snow tweeted he would never forget to meet Dr. Frankland, whom he called “one of the greatest Britons”.

Professor Adam Fox, president of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology, said he was “a huge source of inspiration for many”, adding that he would be “deeply missed but greatly appreciated”.

Dr. Frankland, known as Bill, gave an interview before his 108th birthday on March 19, saying that his longevity was due to luck.

He said: ‘I have come so close to death – from the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, three and a half years spent as a Japanese prisoner of war, to anaphylaxis from a tropical insect bite – but’ always managed to miss it and that’s why I’m still here. ”

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Media captionWATCH: Dr. William Frankland: Japanese soldier about to bayonet me

He also revealed that his birthday celebrations were affected by the coronavirus epidemic as his nursing home closed to visitors.

“My birthday this year will be very different,” he said. “I have received a special request for two of my children to visit for a short time, but they will have to keep their distance. “

Dr. Frankland, who received an MBE in 2015 for his allergy research services, is survived by four children. His wife Pauline died in 2002.

  • Hear Dr. William Frankland on Desert Island Records

Born in Battle, Sussex, in 1912, Dr. Frankland grew up in Cumbria. He then studied medicine at the University of Oxford and worked at St Mary’s Hospital in Paddington, London, before the Second World War broke out.

He enlisted in the Royal Army Medical Corps (RAMC), but spent more than three of the six years he spent in the military as a prisoner of war in Singapore.

During his 70-year long career in medicine, based primarily at St Mary’s Hospital, he worked for Sir Alexander Fleming, who discovered penicillin.

His immunology career began in the 1950s in St Mary’s, where he worked with patients suffering from seasonal hay fever.

He installed a pollen trap on the roof of the hospital to identify different types of pollen in the air and, with his team, created a pollen counting system that led to daily reports of pollen in the air. media.


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