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Edward Wilfred Fairfax (1874–1952)

Dr. Edward Wilfred Fairfax died at his home in Point Piper on Wednesday evening after a short illness. Dr Fairfax, who was 78 years of age, was widely respected in medical, business and philanthropic circles He was the sixth son and the last surviving child of the late Sir James Reading Fairfax and a grandson of Mr. John Fairfax, one of the founders of the Sydney Morning Herald.

He was educated at Sydney Grammar School 1890-1893 and had previously been at Bath College, England. He graduated M.B. Ch.M. from Sydney University in 1899 after which he became a resident medical officer at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital for 12 months. He then obtained his M.R.C.S. and L.R.C.P. in England.

He was a consulting physician at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and lecturer in clinical medicine at Sydney University from 1912 to 1934, a consulting physician for the Royal Hospital for Women 1913-1934, honorary medical officer of the New South Wales branch of the Red Cross Society in charge of tubercular ex-soldiers 1919-1924. He was a foundation member of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians.

During the first World War he served with the Australian Army Medical Corps with the rank of Colonel, first as senior physician to the 1st Australian General Hospital at Rouen, France, and afterwards as a consulting physician to the 5th Army.

Dr. Fairfax identified himself closely with a number of philanthropic organisations including the Australian Aerial Medical Service, of which he was a vice-president of the New South Wales section; Dr. Barnardo's Homes, of which he was chairman of the New South Wales branch; the Bush Nursing Association, of which he was president; and the Boys' Brigade, of which he was a director.

Dr. Fairfax was a director of John Fairfax and Sons Pty. Ltd. from 1929 until 1944, a director of the Colonial Sugar Refining Company from 1933 until 1949, and a director of the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney from 1942 until 1950.

He is survived by Mrs. Fairfax, a son, Mr. H. D. Fairfax, of Merriwa, and a daughter, Mrs. E. Chauvel, of Sydney. His elder son, Mr. J. F. Fairfax, died last year.

There was a private cremation yesterday afternoon after a short service at St. Mark's, Darling Point, which was attended by relatives, friends, and associates of Dr. Fairfax in his business and charitable interests.

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'Fairfax, Edward Wilfred (1874–1952)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 May 2024.

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