Designatory Letters: 
MD, FRCP (Edin), FRCP (Glasg)

Basil studied in Newcastle upon Tyne, graduating MB BS (Durham) in 1945, and served in Germany as a Medical Officer R.A.M.C. August 1946 – July 1948.

He started work as a Registrar in the NHS in July 1948, the day it was formed. He qualified MD in 1952, and became Senior Hospital Medical Officer in Venereology at Newcastle Upon Tyne Teaching Hospital. In 1959 Basil became a member of the Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh, and a Consultant Venereologist.

In 1964 Basil was appointed Physician-in-charge of Sexually Transmitted Diseases Services for Glasgow and the West of Scotland. A keen educator, he lectured in STD at the University of Glasgow, 1964 – 1977 and the Department of Psychology, University of Strathclyde 1970 – 1977. He was delighted to be selected by the students as Honorary President for the Faculty of the Medicine Gamma club in 1969.

In 1977 Basil returned to Tyneside as Physician-in-charge of STD Services, and Lecturer in STD, University of Newcastle. He retired in 1987.

Basil produced a number of articles on the clinical, psychological and sociological aspects of STDs. His textbook ‘Sexually Transmitted Diseases’ (first published, 1972) was translated into Spanish, French, and Italian. He was also on the Board of the British Journal of Venereal Diseases.

Basil was an active member of the Medical Society for the Study of Venereal Diseases organising their Golden Jubilee Spring meeting in 1972 and serving as Scottish Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Secretary and in 1979 and 1980, President. He subsequently became an Honorary Life member.

He visited USA in 1971 as a member of the WHO/PAHO Travelling Seminar and in 1973 presented a paper at the US Social Health Association meeting. In 1980 he visited India and South East Asia on two British Council lecture tours.

After retirement, Basil was invited by the AIDS Task Force of the Commission of the European Community to take up a post as STD/AIDS Co-ordinator to the Tanzanian Ministries of Health. During his two years there, facing many cultural and historical hurdles, Basil spent much time and effort educating officials and clinical staff on the realities of STDs.

Known for being forthright, Basil was one of the father figures in the UK of Venereology who in the post-war brought the speciality out of hospital basements to the huge benefit of patients and demonstrated to a new generation of doctors how interesting and worthwhile a medical career in the discipline could be.