John Weston Stretton

Following in the family tradition, John trained at St Bartholomew’s hospital. Shortly after he had completed a term as house surgeon there, the first world war broke out and he joined the Royal Army Medical Corps. In 1920 he qualified as a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons before being appointed to the Kidderminster and District General and Dudley’s Guest Hospitals in 1921.

Stepping into his father, Lionel’s, shoes cannot have been easy for ”Mr John”, as he was always known. Whereas his father and grandfather’s labours had much to do with the local medical infrastructure, John was the more highly skilled surgeon and had fewer distractions from hospital administration matters.

In a pioneering role, John brought radium treatment to Kidderminster for the treatment of cancer and developed the silk-net treatment method for inguinal hernias.

In his spare time John was District Commissioner for the local scout group, serving for 12 years.

Addressing nurses, on stage at their annual prize-giving, John died as he finished his speech. His obituary in the British Medical Journal included the following words: “As a man he was loved and respected by all who knew him and he seemed to have no enemies. He had high ideals in all matters and, although he was of a kindly disposition, woe betide anyone who tried to shake him from his high purpose.”

Scenes from John Weston Stretton's Photograph Album