Children at centre of doctor’s career
A DOCTOR who spent most of her professional life running mother and baby clinics in the area has died, aged 98. Ruth Margaret Stubbs was born in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province in China, on July 1 1916. She was the eldest of three children of Quaker missionary parents. Her father was the first professor of chemistry at what is today the principal university of Sichuan. Her son, Roger West, said: “She spent her teenage years at the Quaker boarding school in Saffron Walden, Essex. “She graduated in medicine at Birmingham University, where she met her husband, Leslie West. After the war, they lived first at West Byfleet and then at Woodham to be near Leslie’s work – he was finance officer at the former Rowley Bristow Hospital.” In those days, the NHS was organised differently and Ruth spent most of her professional life running mother-and-baby clinics for Surrey County Council in Addlestone, Chertsey, New Haw, Ottershaw and nearby areas, dispensing reassurance and treating minor ailments. She also carried out medical inspections at local schools. “Any reader who was born in that area and is now in their mid 30s to late 60s was very probably seen by her when they were a baby,” Roger added.
After their retirement, the couple moved first to Wokingham and then to Cheltenham to be near their daughter, Lynn. Ruth and Leslie were both active members of the Society of Friends (Quakers). Ruth died on November 19. She was predeceased by husband Leslie, brother John and sister Jean. She is survived by three children, three grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.