Blair Edmunds was born in Swatow, South China. His father, Alfred William Edmunds, was initially a civil engineer and later a teacher at the Missionary College, Swatow. His mother, Dorothy Paton, also of a missionary family, was a teacher.
Blair Edmunds was educated by his mother up to the age of nine years and then at George Watson’s Boys’ College, Edinburgh, and the Medical School, University of Edinburgh. After a short period in general practice he saw service in the RAMC in Africa, Ceylon and Burma.
At the start of the National Health Service in 1948, Blair Edmunds was appointed medical registrar and later senior registrar at the Memorial Hospital, Darlington. In 1952 he was appointed consultant physician to the Darlington and Northallerton Group of Hospitals, the post he held until his retirement in October, 1981.
Blair Edmunds gave devoted service to his hospitals and to the local community; he was renowned for his hard and conscientious work and for his kindness to patients and colleagues. He took a very active part in administration, in the development of postgraduate facilities and in new techniques of medical management. One of his greatest achievements was the development of a coronary care unit in Darlington, in 1968, long before most other hospitals in the Northern Region.
Blair Edmunds always retained a touch of the missionary, and a love of Africa. In 1975 he took leave of absence from National Health Service duties and worked for two years in Gabarone, Botswana, for the Government Medical Service.
In 1947 he married Grace Vivian, daughter of Henry William Turnbull Bermeaud of Aberdeen, and they had two sons and a daughter.
[Brit.med.J., 1982, 284, 1638]