Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 11°C

min temp: 1°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Aldeburgh: Influential doctor Ian Tait remembered

07:30 08 February 2013

Dr Ian Tait, who has died aged 86

Dr Ian Tait, who has died aged 86

Tom Southern

A PRESTIGIOUS physician who served as general practitioner to a Suffolk town for more than 30 years has died aged 86.

shares

Ian Tait was a senior member of the Aldeburgh practice from 1959 to 1992, introducing many new concepts during his tenure.

The fourth generation in a family of doctors, he counted among his many patients the composer, conductor, and pianist Benjamin Britten.

Born in Handcross, West Sussex, Dr Tait originally coveted a naval career but was persuaded to continue the family calling, and following a brief period of national service at sea, studied medicine at Cambridge.

At St Bartholomew’s Hospital, London, he met his wife of almost 60 years, Janet, also a doctor, who would follow him to New York on a year-long exchange before moving as a couple to Suffolk.

Dr Tait became a house-surgeon at Ipswich Hospital before being invited by friend Dr John Stevens to join him on the coast, where he remained for the rest of his career, besides 18 months spent practising in Swaziland.

The Taits raised four children, Nicholas, Charles, Lucy and Hugo, who gave them nine grandchildren.

Dr Tait founded one of the first training courses for medicine graduates who wanted to become GPs. It required the young medics to develop a better understanding of medical care and ethics by attending Ipswich Hospital once a week for group work while assigned to a practice.

He also devised a system of keeping records whereby each patient’s medical history was outlined in a covering summary, saving significant time and energy.

Dr Tait was also a keen golfer, a poet and a painter, and kept an extensive collection of journals going back to the early 1950s. He published two collections of poems entitled Wave Watch and River Songs.

He has been described posthumously by one contemporary as “the most modest of men... despite a quiver full of talents”.

Among Dr Tait’s friends from St Bart’s was former British Medical Journal editor Stephen Lock, who also lives in Aldeburgh.

He maintained a close relationship with Benjamin Britten, who would visit the Tait family with partner Peter Pears and invite them to join them at the The Red House in Aldeburgh.

Dr Tait died on February 4. He had been unwell and last year underwent a heart operation but his health worsened in the last few months.

A memorial service will be held at Aldeburgh Church on Saturday, March 9, from 2.30pm. Donations can be made to Medecins Sans Frontiéres c/o Tony Brown Funeral Services, Saxmundham, IP17 1EH.

shares

0 comments

Nearly 14,000 people flocked to the Felixstowe Spa Pavilion during the first three months of its re-opening. Photo: Su Anderson

The new owners of Felixstowe’s Spa Pavilion are celebrating after it was revealed thousands have flocked to see shows at the recently re-opened venue.

Suffolk County Council's chief executive Deborah Cadman

The union representing the largest number of staff at Suffolk County Council has called for all employees at the authority to be given the same pay rise as chief executive Deborah Cadman.

Joe and Ruth Lubbock celebrate their 75th wedding anniversary this week.

Suffolk couple Joseph and Ruth Lubbock are today celebrating their 75th wedding anniversary. LYNNE MORTIMER meets them as they mark three-quarters of a century as Mr and Mrs Lubbock.

crazy-weather-in-suffolk-today_2016-4-26_31626_68671

Changeable is the best way to describe the weather this week, with bright sunshine one moment and hail storms the next - but expect warmer days this bank holiday weekend.

Penny Warland with her husband choosing books at Braintree Library

An Essex gran has found a novel way of keeping in touch with her grandson in Australia – by reading him bedtime stories over the internet.

Keith Sadler at his home in Stowmarket.

A singer-songwriter from Suffolk whose life turned in a different direction due to health problems has released an album.

Candidates Tim Passmore, Cath Pickles, Helen Korfanty, Terence Carter and Simon Tobin all signed the pledge.

All five candidates running for Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner role have signed a pledge to end sexual violence against women and girls in the county.

Most read

Great Days Out

cover

Click here to view
the Great Days Out
supplement

View

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Streetlife

Newsletter Sign Up

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24