The Anaphylaxis Campaign is deeply saddened to learn of the death of its Honorary President, Dr. William Frankland, who died today (2 April 2020) at the age of 108.
Throughout his life, Dr. Frankland worked to improve the lives of others and became a pioneer for allergy research. The Campaign is proud to have had Dr.Frankland’s support since it was founded in 1994.
Today we are looking back on his incredible life and many achievements which benefited so many people globally, including bringing the pollen count to public attention and working as an assistant to Alexander Fleming, who famously discovered penicillin.
Dr Alfred William Frankland, known as Bill to many who knew him personally, was born 19 March 1912 in Battle, Sussex. He attended The Queen’s College, Oxford, where he read medicine and upon leaving, went to do clinical work at St. Mary’s Hospital, London.
At the start of the Second World War, Dr Frankland joined the army and spent six years in the Royal Army Medical Corps. Three and a half of those years were spent as a Prisoner of War in Singapore.
In 1946 Dr Frankland returned to the Allergy Department at St. Mary’s Hospital. It was there that he responded to an advertisement for a part-time role in the Department of Allergic Disorders with The Wright-Fleming Institute. There he worked in special clinics focusing on seasonal hayfever and Dr Frankland and his colleagues undertook a series of trials that proved that antihistamines neither helped nor increased pollen asthma (Frankland and Gorrill, 1955).
In 1962 he became Director of the Allergy Department at St Mary’s and undertook research into insect allergy and latex allergy, amongst other related conditions.
For over 50 years, Dr Frankland spearheaded research into allergic conditions and made significant contributions to a number of organisations, including the British Allergy Society and The European Academy of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. Even after turning 100, Dr Frankland continued to work and even commented on clinical papers for the Campaign.
He will be deeply missed by everyone at The Anaphylaxis Campaign and our thoughts are with his loved ones at this difficult time.
Lynne Regent, Chief Executive Officer of the Anaphylaxis Campaign, says:
“All of us at the Anaphylaxis Campaign will miss Bill very much. He was a great supporter of our charity and took his role as Honorary President very seriously. He was always ready to help us in our work to provide accurate meaningful information to those with severe allergies . he also retained a lovely sense of humour and curiosity which was great to witness. We extend our deepest sympathy to his family.”
To read more on the incredible life and work of Dr. Frankland, see our series of articles ‘A Life in Allergy’