Dr Wynter

Author: Brian Withers
Date published: 07/02/2013

Dr Wynter
Doctor Walter Essex Wynter was the son of a GP Andrew Wynter of Chiswick. Andrew edited the British Medical Journal from 1855 – 1861. Walter was born in 1860, was educated at Epsom college and the Middlesex hospital and became a physician to that hospital in 1901. He was a FRCP and FRCS.

Whilst a registrar at that hospital in1890, he was a pioneer of the lumber puncture procedure for removing or reducing infected spinal fluid. He developed the process but although the German physician Heinrich Quincke was the first to use needle lumbar puncture, he credited Dr Wynter with the earlier discovery.

When he retired from medical life, he set up home in Newbury with his wife Ada, in the early Tudor house known as Bartholomew Manor in Argyle Road. The house which was originally in the estate of John Winchcombe (1489 – 1547) was originally a medieval farm house with an upper storey added in the 15th century. Dr Wynter restored both that house and modernised the neighbouring almshouses in the 1920s.

The Essex Wynter charity was set up by him and still exists today, providing accommodation and support for retired nurses and today, in addition, other NHS staff. The gardens of the house were very extensive and took up a large area within the city including the area where the care home currently stands and continuing right across to the junction of Argyle Road and Rectory Close by the Northern gate of the City Playground (Hampton Road). When he died in January 1945, his lands and properties were willed to the Essex Wynter Trust, a charitable organisation.

Both he and his wife Ada Margaret Wynter who died in August 1937 aged 73 are in the Newtown Road cemetery although Dr Wynter was cremated and his ashes buried in the same plot as his wife.


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