Tributes to popular GP who started his career in Hartlepool

Dr Jack Brodie
Dr Jack Brodie

TOUCHING tributes have been paid to a well-respected GP who began his career in Hartlepool the year the NHS was founded.

Much-loved Dr Jack Brodie’s medical career spanned 43 years, with 39 of those serving the town.

The grandfather-of-12 died on September 24 at home, a week after celebrating his 65th wedding anniversary with wife Joyce and two days before his 93rd birthday.

In 1953, Dr Brodie partnered with Dr Charles Sim, who became a life-long friend, and they worked together at their busy practice in Durham Street, on the Headland, and then in West View, with their West View Road practice a predecessor of Hart Medical Centre.

Dr Brodie, who was born in Sydney, Australia, to a Scottish father and English mother, earned his medical degree at Glasgow University between 1939 and 1944, during the Second World War.

From 1944 to 1945, he was house physician at Southern General Hospital, Glasgow and was Surgeon Lieutenant at sea with the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve for two years.

In 1948 – the year the NHS was established – he started working in a GP practice in Old Hartlepool.

Then in 1953, he teamed up with Dr Sim, serving the close-knit communities of West View and the Headland.

In the early years, there were no practice nurses, health visitors, or receptionists, so the doctor had to do everything themselves.

There were no measles vaccines, so epidemics were common, with the GPs sometimes having to visit 20 children a day.

Dr Brodie, who retired in 1987, was dad to Dr Graham Brodie, Jill Oberlin-Harris, Heather O’Regan and Joy Goudswaard, and was an honorary life member of Hartlepool Retired Men’s Forum and Seaton Carew Golf Club, as well as a supporter of HMS Trincomalee and keen gardener.

Son Graham, whose daughter Helen is training to become the third Dr Brodie, said: “Dad was a devoted husband and father to his son and three daughters and cherished grandfather to his 12 grandchildren.

“He was a conscientious and dedicated GP in Hartlepool for 39 years.

“He found the local people very friendly and in the early years he was on call every night and every other weekend, which is rare now.”

Dr Brodie was committed at Stranton Crematorium, followed by a service at St George’s United Reformed Church.

The family had asked for donations in lieu of flowers to the RNLI, due to his early life and time in the Navy.

His ashes will be scattered in the sea at the Headland.

There are plans for a permanent memorial, which could take the form of a seat at the Headland, or wild daffodils around the town.