A doctor so dedicated

Dr John Drucquer, with wife Nora
Dr John Drucquer, with wife Nora

A DEDICATED GP and family man has died, aged 96 years.

Dr John Drucquer ran a GP practice on Victoria Road, Elland, for more than 40 years.

He was born in 1914 in Bradford and went on to gain a double first-class honours degree in Physiology and Medicine from the University of Leeds.

After taking a six month scholarship to Harvard University in America, he joined the Royal Army Medical Corps in 1939 and was posted to France.

A Dunkirk survivor, he became a frontline medical officer, and served in the first battle of El Alamein in 1942.

During his service, he was instrumental in ensuring army personnel received vaccinations against diphtheria and getting quinine to combat malaria.

His batallion was surrounded with many men killed, and Dr Drucquer was himself seriously injured. His arm was shattered in three places and a second bullet ricocheted off his forehead.

Son David said he was “the luckiest man I have ever met.

“He narrowly survived his arm being amputated because he could speak French he managed to persuade the Italian surgeon not to amputate,” he said.

Dr Drucquer was captured and moved to a prisoner of war camp in Italy, but the days were soon filled with music, as Dr Drucquer and other soldiers saved enough money to buy a Steinway piano, shipped from Berlin. He was later moved a second camp in Germany, under Gestapo command.

After the war, he married Nora, who died in 2000. His first job was in Rugby, before setting up his practice in Elland.

Dr Drucquer was a medical officer for the St John’s Ambulance for more than 40 years and a proud lifelong member of the British Legion. He was also a police surgeon for many years.

“He was a committed family man and a dedicated GP who considered service to the community to be of great importance,” said David.

After he retired aged 65, he enjoyed holidays at his home in France and was an avid gardener and historian.

He is survived by his three children, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.