Cricklewood centenarian celebrates his milestone birthday with friends and family
PUBLISHED: 15:58 14 May 2012
Sr Ian Douglas-Wilson worked as a medic at the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp and is a former editor of The Lancet
A Cricklewood centenarian whose work as a medic took him into one of the world’s most notorious concentration camps has celebrated his milestone birthday surrounded by friends and family.
Dr Ian Douglas-Wilson, who has been a resident of Magnolia Court, in Granville Road, Cricklewood, for 18 months, was given a special celebration on Saturday (12).
In a life spanning ten decades Dr Douglas-Wilson worked as the editor of renowned medical journal The Lancet for 12 years and served with the Royal Armoured Medical Corps (RAMC) in the Second World War.
His work with the RAMC eventually led to him becoming one of the first British medics to visit the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp, in North West Germany in 1945 where he worked with those suffering with post traumatic stress syndrome.
Prior to his work on the Lancet the 100-year-old briefly worked alongside Hugh Clegg, the grandfather of Nick Clegg, deputy PM.
In his later life, he and his late wife opened their home to Hungarian refugees, following the Hungarian Revolution in 1956.
Dr Douglas-Wilson was born in Harrogate in Yorkshire but lived much of live in London, settling near Cricklewood after his retirement before he was taken into Magnolia.
During the birthday celebrations he was visited by three children, seven grandchildren and seven great grandchildren, who all enjoyed music and cake laid on by the staff at Magnolia.
Speaking to the Times, his 67-year-old son, David hailed his father’s achievements.
He said: “He has had an amazing life and although he is quite frail he never lost his sense of humour and is very witty. “But despite all his achievements he does not often talk about his past, I think some memories are very tough for him.”
Claudine Baeze, a care worker at Magnolia Court said: “All the staff greeted him in the morning before his family came to join in with the celebrations.
“He seemed very happy to have his family around and really enjoyed the day.”