Designatory Letters: 
BM Oxfd 1947, DM Oxfd 1964, FRCP Lond 1967, FRCP Edin 1970

(Contributed by Peter Brunt, Obituaries Editor)

Oliver Wrong was one of the most outstanding clinician investigators of his time. His studies on salt and water metabolism, colonic fluid balance and renal dysfunction (especially renal tubular acidosis), stimulated by his working with Dent at UCL remain models of scientific method. His interests were wide and included the natural world, art and particularly music – he was an accomplished pianist and enjoyed playing Bach.

Professor Wrong was born in Oxford in 1925 while his father was a lecturer in history at Magdalen College. The list of his relatives reads like a page from Who’s Who – including the writer Naomi Mitchison, the cabinet minister Peter Shore, Michael Ignatieff and the Nobel Prize scientist Dorothy Hodgkin, among others. He went to school in Canada and later in Edinburgh at the Academy. He graduated BM at Oxford in 1947, subsequently working in Toronto, the Massachusetts General, the Manchester Royal Infirmary and finally with Max (Lord) Rosenheim and Charles Dent at UCH. His remarkable talent led him to an appointment as Senior Lecturer at the Royal Postgraduate Medical School/Hammersmith Hospital. In 1969 he was appointed Professor of Medicine at Dundee University but he returned to London three years later to take up the Chair at UCH.

Oliver Wrong’s brilliant, enquiring, permanently curious and incisive character remained with him throughout his retirement, right up to correcting the draft of his last paper while in intensive care dying of pulmonary fibrosis. He published over 40 papers during his retirement. He apparently studied camels in his work on colonic fluid flux and persuaded people (including himself!) to swallow his little fluid bags to study the colonic function!

While on holiday in the Black Forrest in 1954, he met an Italian teacher, Marilda Musacchio. They were married two years later and she survives him, along with two daughters.