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Logo of bmjThis ArticleThe BMJ
BMJ. 2007 November 10; 335(7627): 999.
PMCID: PMC2071979

Robert Bernard William Walker

Born in Honan province, China, Robert Walker (“Bobby”) and his brother and sister became medical missionaries. Entering medical school in Edinburgh, Bobby played hockey for the university and for Scotland. After house jobs, he entered New College to study theology, and was ordained as a Church of Scotland minister in 1941. He married Grace Torrance, the sister of his best friend, that summer, and they travelled to Malawi, where he served in hospitals in Bandawe, Loudon, and Livingstonia. In 1952 he became seriously ill with tuberculosis, and was advised not to return to Africa. From 1954 until retirement in 1981 he ministered in Lesmahagow, Lanarkshire.

In Malawi he had to deal with whatever presented, with little medical support. Urinary diversion for obstructed ureters was one such procedure learnt from a textbook open beside the operating table. He kept up to date with medical matters until well after retirement, and had several hobbies, from DIY to bee-keeping to new technology, taking up computing at the age of 80. He had an exceptional willingness to help others, and a great capacity to love and forgive, which sprang from his living faith in Christ. He died in Liberton Hospital, Edinburgh. He leaves a wife, three sons, and five grandchildren.


Former medical missionary Malawi (b 1913; q Edinburgh 1937), d 21 May 2007.

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