Tragic doctor was leading health expert

A SUFFOLK man whose remains were found nine months after he went missing was one of the country's top health experts, it has emerged.

Colin Adwent

A SUFFOLK man whose remains were found nine months after he went missing was one of the country's top health experts, it has emerged.

Dr Tony Smith's glittering career included a stint as medical correspondent for The Times, being deputy editor of the British Medical Journal and writing a large number of health advice books.

The 73-year-old's body was found in Porter's Wood, near Woodbridge, by a walker earlier this month. He had been missing since going for a stroll in June 5 last year. Dr Smith had previously admitted himself to a nearby nursing home after being diagnosed with Parkinson's disease.

Suffolk Constabulary have said they are not treating his death as suspicious.

Although Dr Smith was said to be a lifelong left-winger, he loved the good things of life, dressing well and enjoying food and wine.

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Over the years he had a series of elegant homes including a detached house in Blackheath and a large rectory in Dennington, near Framlingham, as well as a terraced house near Regent's Park.

Born in Coventry in December 1934 to a working class family, Anthony John Smith grew up in the city before being evacuated during the Blitz.

He won a scholarship to Bablake School and later to New College, Oxford, to read law but he decided to switch to medicine.

He trained at the London Hospital and working in a number of hospitals which were former workhouses.

In a biography by his former paper, The Times, it said Dr Smith's refusal to go along with every bit of medical orthodoxy meant that he failed the membership examination of the Royal College of Physicians, ruling him out for promotion.

In his final physician's post he further disqualified himself when his socialist principles prevented him from caring for one consultant's private patients without payment.

With his medical career stalling, Dr Smith joined the British Medical Journal as a staff writer.

During his time there he wrote articles in support of the widespread availability of the pill and the Abortion Bill.

In 1971 he became medical correspondent for The Times, where he worked for 11 years before quitting and writing the British Medical Association's Family Doctor booklets.

His most recent book was on The Human Body as part of publisher Dorling Kindersley's hugely popular illustrated guides.

Dr Smith married fellow London Hospital student Evelyn Mary Adey in 1958 and they had three children.

They later divorced and he lived for some years with his partner Inga in her native Norway and in England.

He is survived by two daughters and a son.