Frederick Dawtrey Drewitt was born at Burpham, Surrey, the son of Robert Dawtrey Drewitt by his wife Frances, only daughter of Major C. Lane, 47th Regiment. He was educated at Winchester and Christ Church, Oxford. He took a natural science degree in 1871 and then began his medical studies at St. George’s Hospital. He qualified in 1876 and was given house appointments at his own Hospital, the Hospital for Sick Children and the Belgrave Hospital for Children. His honorary appointments were at the Victoria Hospital for Children, from 1881 to 1887, and the West London Hospital, from 1882 to 1902. His private income enabled him to retire early, and he devoted himself for the long remaining years of his life to the study of birds and flowers. He served on committees concerned with the preservation of natural life and represented the Royal College of Physicians in the management of the Chelsea Physic Garden till 1941. He wrote, in 1923, The Romance of the Apothecaries' Garden, which reached a third edition. The range of his interests is shown by the titles of his other publications, Bombay in the Days of George IV (1907), The Latin Names of Common Flowers (1927), and Life of Edward Jenner (1931). A fine water colour painter, he exhibited at the Royal Academy. Uncomplaining, appreciative, and loved to the end, he wrote, two months before his death at the age of ninety-four, "I am thankful for a long and happy life, for pleasant friends, from whom I have learnt much, and for an insight into the everlasting beauty and wonder of the world". His wife, whom he married in 1897, was the Hon. Caroline Mary, daughter of the third Baron Lilford.
G H Brown
[Lancet, 1942; B.M.J., 1942; Presidential Address to R.C.P., 1943, 9; Al.Oxon., I, 387]