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Bill Frankland, 1930


Physiological Sciences


I was brought up in the Lake District and came to Queens in 1930 as a Thomas Exhibitioner.  I remember coming from school and being impressed at dinner in Hall when all of the Fellows at High Table wore evening dress.  I was also impressed with the very long Latin Grace said by the Provost.  It still is!

Magrath was still the Provost but no one had seen him except for the man that took his food to him.  My father (Wadham, 1880) told me a great deal about him.  He was Provost for 52 years.  The Pro-Provost, Canon Walker, used to invite four Freshers to breakfast every morning to get to know what they were reading.  I wonder whether this still happens...

College Experience

I enjoyed life that the town and College gave me.  Sport for the College was hockey and running.  Three years after leaving Queen’s I ran for the university that I never belonged to – London - against my old university, Oxford.

Owing to medical problems at home during my final year, I nearly gave up all studies but finally became a Clinical Medical student at St Mary’s Hospital and qualified in 1938.

Life after Queen's

My first qualified job was House Physician to the Dean who was also President of the Royal College of Physicians , Dr Charles Wilson (Lord Moran).  Strangely there was no pay, only keep.

I then spent over six years in the army, of which 3 and a half were as a Japanese Prisoner of War.  I never talked about my experiences until the last few years.  I have been so near death so many times but always lucky.  I am now over the age of 100 years, not retired and still active; indeed I have published four academic papers since the age of 100.

The greatest honour ever to be received was to be made an Honorary Fellow of Queen’s in 2012.