Captain Charles Richard Whitfield
MB BCh BAO (Belf 1950) MRCOG (1959) MD (1965) FRCOG (1969)
21 Oct 1927 [Secunderabad India] – 13 Sep 2018 [Bearsden Glasgow]
Prof Charles Richard Whitfield was educated at Campbell College Belfast and Queens University Belfast, from where he graduated in 1950. In April 1953 he was granted a commission in the Royal Army Medical Corps and served as a specialist in Obstetrics at the Louise Margaret Hospital Aldershot (part of the Cambridge Military Hospital) and in various military establishments overseas.
He left the army in 1964 and pursued a successful career in Obstetrics and Gynaecology, becoming Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Manchester in 1974 and in 1976, Emeritus Regius Professor of Midwifery, The Queen Mother's Maternity Hospital, University of Glasgow.
Prof C R Whitfield was a pioneer in foetal medicine. He undertook research in Rhesus incompatibility of the newborn. During the 1970s, he was instrumental in introducing blood transfusions in the womb for babies who developed rhesus disease or haemolytic disease of the newborn.
Prof C R Whitfield retired in 1992 and lives in Glasgow, where he celebrated his 90th birthday on 21 October 2017. He has five grandchildren.
13 Apr 1953 Short Service Commission Lieutenant RAMC.
4 Dec 1953 Married Marion Douglas McKinney in Fisherwick Presbyterian Church, Belfast.
13 Apr 1954 Short Service Commission Captain RAMC.
1954 Served in Malta. Whitfield said:
In 1954 I got to Malta and within a few days was doing an exchange transfusion with glass cannulas and bits of metal linked together with rubber tubing, and with just a two-way syringe.1
1955 Served at the David Bruce Military Hospital Mtarfa as a Junior Specialist in Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
15 Sep 1956 Birth of a daughter, Catherine May, to Charles Richard and Marion Douglas. The baby was baptised at St Oswald's Church Mtarfa on 4 Nov 1956. The family resided at No 2 St Agatha's Esplanade Mdina.
7 June 1956 Permanent Regular Army Commission Lieutenant RAMC.
1957 Served in Malta.
1957–1959 On duty at The Louise Margaret Hospital Aldershot.
16 Mar 1959 Major RAMC.
11 Apr 1959 Birth of a daughter, Aileen Jane in Aldershot.
1959 Senior Specialist in Obstetrics and Gynaecology.
1959–1960 Served at the Military Hospital Colchester.
1960–1963 Served at the British Military Hospital Singapore.
28 May 1962 Birth of a son, Charles Alexander at BMH Singapore (now the Alexandra Hospital). The family resided at No 6 Canterbury Road.
16 Mar 1964 Lieutenant Colonel RAMC.
13 Apr 1964 Left the army. Returned to Belfast to take up a post of Senior Lecturer in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Queen's University.
1968 Consultant in Obstetrics and Gynaecology to the Royal Maternity, the Royal Victoria, the Samaritan and City Hospitals Belfast.
1974 Appointed Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the University of Manchester. Held the post until he moved to Glasgow in 1976, where he became Emeritus Regius Professor of Midwifery, The Queen Mother's Maternity Hospital, University of Glasgow until his retirement in 1992.
1976 Appointed Emeritus Regius Professor of Midwifery, The Queen Mother's Maternity Hospital, University of Glasgow.
- Entry No: 2030. Drew R, 1968. Commissioned Officers in the Medical Services of the British Army 1660–1960, Vol II Roll of Officers in the RAMC 1898–1960 London, Wellcome Historical Library.
- Zallen D T, Christie D A, and Tansey E M, 2004. The rhesus factor and disease prevention Wellcome Witnesses to Twentieth Century Medicine Vol 22, 18.
- TNA:ADM 338/54, Register of baptisms in the Mtarfa Church Room and St Oswald's Church Mtarfa.
- Charles Richard Whitfield's entry in Wikipedia.