Research

Dr Geoff Gill

Geoff Gill

Geoff Gill trained in medicine at Newcastle-upon-Tyne and came to Liverpool as Senior House Officer in Tropical Medicine at Sefton General Hospital. His clinical lead was Dion Bell, and he became fascinated by the FEPOWs he met at the Tropical Unit – both their stories and their medical problems. With Dr Bell he began a large study of the FEPOWs seen in Liverpool since 1968, leading to a major publication in the British Medical Journal in 1979 (and expanded in 1982) on persisting Strongyloides stercoralis infection in FEPOWs, and an MD thesis in 1980 on the long-term health effects of Far East imprisonment. Over the next 10-15 years many research papers concerning FEPOW health effects were published in medical journals.

 

Dr Nick Beeching

Nick Beeching

Nick Beeching graduated in medicine from Oxford and became another protégé of Dion Bell’s, working with him at Sefton General Hospital in 1978. He returned to the School in 1987 as Senior Lecturer in Infectious Diseases, subsequently becoming leader of the School’s Clinical Unit at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital. He developed wide experience of FEPOW health and became a close collaborator with Geoff Gill on FEPOW research after Dion Bell’s retirement. Together they published studies on Strongyloides infection and on the total FEPOW population (over 2,000) seen at the School between 1968 and 2000. See Dr Nick Beeching's profile on the LSTM website here...

 

Dr Wendi Bailey

Wendi Bailey

Wendi Bailey is a medical scientist who worked in the School from 1966 to 1972 as a Research Technician under Professor Brian Maegraith. After working in London from 1972-74, she returned to the School as leader of the Diagnostic Laboratory, and in the 1980s worked extensively on the problem of an effective sensitive and specific serological test for Strongyloides infection. Under the supervision and encouragement of Dion Bell, she earned an MSc in 1988, for this work and the serological “ELISA” (enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay) test was published in the medical literature in 1989. This became the “gold standard” test for strongyloidiasis in FEPOWs. Wendi went on to gain her PhD in 1995. She has travelled extensively to the tropics and continues to run the internationally renowned Diagnostic Laboratory at LSTM.

 

Dr Kamaluddin Khan

Kamaluddin Khan

Dr Khan is one of the most important key contributors to the Liverpool FEPOW story. In 1975 he was a senior registrar in psychiatry at Sefton General Hospital and was asked by Dion Bell to see FEPOWs admitted there. Many had psychological problems related to their imprisonment, retrospectively a form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He developed an intense interest in FEPOW mental health and later (as consultant psychiatrist at Arrowe Park Hospital in Wirral) saw all FEPOWs referred to LSTM, many of whom he followed up in a dedicated clinic. His experience and expertise was considerable and many FEPOWs became enormously grateful for his care and commitment. Dr Khan also conducted a unique detailed scientific study of FEPOW psychological health compared with a comparative group of Burma Star veterans, leading to a successful PhD thesis in 1987.

 

Meg Parkes

Meg Parkes

Meg Parkes, trained as a nurse in Manchester.  She is the daughter of a Far East prisoner of war and in 2002 published her father's wartime diaries.  In 2007 Meg joined the Tropical School as a Research Assistant working with Geoff Gill.  She undertook a Far East POW oral history enquiry interviewing over 60 veterans, which became the basis for an MPhil degree.  She later conducted a study into inventive medicine followed by a 2-year project taking the oral history archive into secondary schools.  In 2012 Meg was awarded her MPhil and also co-authored a book, Nursing in Liverpool since 1862, marking the 150th anniversary of Liverpool's first School of Nursing.  She is currently researching the medical artwork created in Far East captivity between 1942-1945.  She and Geoff hope to organise a touring exhibition of this extraordinary documentary artwork. In January 2014 LSTM appointed Meg an Honorary Research Fellowship.