Obituary William Morris Dixon

Dr Dixon was a Past President and Honorary member of the Society. He and his wife were tragically killed in a car accident on 20th April 2013. Having read what he termed a particularly turgid obituary in a SOM newsletter many years ago, he forwarded his own obituary as follows:

Former Head of Medical Services John Lewis Partnership (b. 1923); Guy's Hospital 1947; Fellow Royal College of Physicians (FRCP), Fellow Faculty of Occupational Medicine, Royal college of Physicians (FFOM), Diploma in Industrial Health (DIH).

Having had pulmonary tuberculosis as a student Bill Dixon became a Chest Physician from 1949 to 1957, ultimately in the Post Graduate Medical School (PGMS), Hammersmith Hospital. Converting to Occupational Medicine in1958 he joined ESSO as a trainee, took the DIH and was appointed to run the Medical Department at Milford Haven Refinery. In 1962 he moved to Dundee with a Nuffield Foundation grant to establish the first Group OH Service in Scotland, together with the Student Health Service to the University of St Andrews. From 1966 to 1968 he was Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of Fisons, where he became interested in the toxicity of various chemicals and pesticides. From 1968 to 1970 he was CMO of Chrysler UK, in charge of Health & Safety for a large car manufacturer.

He then briefly abandoned his medical career and became a Partner at John Tyzacks, a management recruitment consultancy, although he also worked with Beric Wright at the BUPA Medical Centre. His last full time appointment was Head of Medical Services at the John Lewis Partnership, which includes the Waitrose supermarkets.

In retirement he did a number of consultancy projects in the private sector. Bill Dixon was always involved in medical politics, being Chairman of the BMA Occupational Health Committee for many years and on the BMA Council & Executive, which involved much committee work and personnel selection. He was President of the Society of Occupational Medicine in 1978 and Treasurer of the Faculty of OM at the RCP.

At the Royal Society of Medicine he was President of the OM Section in 1988 and in 1997 helped to start the Retired Fellows Society, which has been such a great success. He published a number of papers and was co-author of “Aspects of Occupational Health” (Faber & Faber 1984), a book written primarily for OH Nurses in training.

He travelled the world widely both to visit his sons in USA and in New Zealand, on business and for pleasure.