William Feldman was one of the few men of his day who combined deep book learning of child hygiene with practical experience. He was born in Pinsk, Russia, the son of Israel Feldman, and came to England when he was eight years old. He was educated at Jews’ College and then at the London Hospital. Soon after qualifying he went into general practice in the Whitechapel Road, which he combined with non-resident appointments at the London Hospital and later with the posts of physician to St. Mary’s Hospital for Women and Children and to the East End Dispensary.
Feldman was a prolific but scholarly writer, deeply interested in social work for the Jews, and was a member of the Stepney Borough Council. He served on the Council of the Society for the Study of Inebriety and lectured for the L.C.C, on midwifery and hygiene, but his main aim was the well-being of children from every angle, historical, literary, biological and, above all, practical, for he had that rare ability of expressing technical terms in simple language. In his later days he conducted his private practice from Harley Street and lived in Finchley Road.
In 1911 he married his first cousin, Hilda Kate Feldman. They had one daughter and two sons, one of whom became a psychiatrist.
Richard R Trail
[Brit.med.J., 1939, 2, 148; Lancet, 1939, 2, 101; S.R. Kagan. Jewish medicine. Boston, 1952, 57.]