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Thomas Christie Falconer (“Christie”) started his career as an actuary and was within sight of qualifying with Scottish Widows in Edinburgh in 1938, when he volunteered for active service in the 113th Field Regiment. In various harrowing theatres of war, including Dunkirk, North Africa, and the Salerno landings, he rose to the rank of captain.
After six long years, having been on the receiving end of medical care when wounded, he had a complete career change, choosing to study medicine in Dundee. He entered public health—writing a thesis, “Anthrax in bone meal workers,” while working as medical officer, Port of Tyne. Finally, aged 63, he joined a practice in Whitley Bay, retiring at the age of 70.
A devoted family man, he was an accomplished pianist and loved jazz, fishing, and anything to do with ships, many times acting as ship’s surgeon on various Fred Olsen and BI ships.
He died with courage and dignity after a long illness, and is survived by his wife; two sons, who are both general practitioners; four grandchildren; and three great grandchildren.
Former port medical officer Tyne Port Health Authority (b 1916; q Dundee (St Andrews) 1951; DPH, DIH), d 16 July 2007.