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Book provides an insight into town's health
7:50am Friday 2nd November 2012 in News
A BOOK which celebrates the history and achievements of a Kidderminster medical family has been launched.
Dr Stretton, I Presume – The Battle for Kidderminster’s Health 1856-1952 documents the medical triumphs achieved by three generations of the Stretton family.
The book, by historian Nigel Gilbert, chronicles the midVictorian social history of Kidderminster through the eyes of the surgeons, who were the driving force behind the founding of Kidderminster Hospital.
The 152-page paperback contains historical photographs and maps and has been produced following the 2010 death of Wyre Forest businessman Antony Stretton. It honours the lives of his father John, grandfather Lionel and great-grandfather Samuel Stretton, who all dominated medical life in the town between 1856 and 1952.
Together they served the hospital, originally the infirmary on Mill Street, which opened in 1871, for 95 years.
The trio all held the position of honorary surgeon in Kidderminster, with Samuel working alongside the founder of modern nursing, Florence Nightingale, during the Crimean War.
Lionel discovered that mixing iodine with water sterilised the skin, allowing medical procedures to take place, in the early 1900s.
Antony, who was disabled after a stroke aged nine, did not follow his father into medicine but was the founder of Strettons Nurseries.
His nephew Chris Stretton, who was at the launch at Kidderminster Town Hall, said: “The impact generations of my family have made in Kidderminster and the medical world really is phenomenal.
“The launch of the book has highlighted the contribution they made, sometimes in the face of adversity, over so many years.
As a family we’re proud to have a big part of our history interlinked with the town’s growth. ”
Jim Quinn, consultant solicitor at Kidderminster law firm MFG Solicitors, who is acting as executor following the death of Mr Stretton, added the book gave “a fantastic insight into the personal and professional lives of an intriguing Wyre Forest family”.
More than 70 people attended the launch event, including former Wyre Forest MP Dr Richard Taylor.
People can buy the book by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by contacting 01562 829398.
Meanwhile, as part of Antony’s will, a specially-commissioned stain glass window is set to be installed at St John’s Church in Kidderminster next year.
A charity is also being set up to help support medical students training to become surgeons.
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